Dagens Nyheter editorial - translation

Subject: Dagens Nyheter editorial - translation
From: Jakob Harnesk (harnesk@libris.kb.se)
Date: to 14 marras 1996 - 18:12:21 EET

Dear list members,
On Monday 11 Nov, 1996, I informed you that Dagens Nyheter, the largest
Swedish morning paper, had a very interesting editorial about the WIPO
proposal. Several people have asked me to translate it into English. Due
to lack of time, I haven't been able to translate the whole text, but at
least I can give you a substantial part. The sections left out are
mostly descriptive. The translation is sent to the ECUP-LIST with the
permission of Dagens Nyheter.

I can also inform you that we have put up a Web page with links to
relevant documents, including all Swedish articles (most of them in full
text). The URL is:

OK, here is the text from the Dagens Nyheter editorial:

Title: Knowledge shall be available : copyright interests must not, in
silent, limit the digital freedom of information

Published in Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm, Sweden, 11 Nov., 1996

Thoughts, ideas and feelings cannot be owned. But we can with them as
raw material create something that has an economic value. A painting can
be sold and an author can through copyright get renumeration from books

The fact that creators can get economic revenue for their work leads to
cultural prosperity and intellectual and economic growth. But at the
same time that we all gain from the rewards for creativity, there is an
other, partly conflicting, interest which is not less strong: It's about
the freedom to search information.

Knowledge is a collective good. It means that is is not a limited
resource. When one individual learns something, other peoples
possibilities to do the same are not thereby diminished. On the
contrary, they grow.

A society that gives its inhabitants great possibilities to search for
information themselves and expand their knowledge will be richer than
one who puts up bars around knowledge. The existence of libraries can be
seen as an expression of that insight. Those who have the copyright to
the works get paid when the libraries buy the works. But for the
individual user they are freely available.

The balance which have been established between copyright and freedom of
information might now be on its way to be altered.

[Here follows a description of the new possibilities with digital
information, the fact that right owners are worried and on their way to
move their positions forward, the WIPO proposal, the Berne convention,
and the letter sent to the Swedish Ministry of Justice from the Royal
Library etc]

The editorial ends with:

"How these national exceptions would look like and work in practise, we
do not know today. But the risk that the proposed addition to the Berne
convention weakens the users and narrows freedom of information in a way
that is negative for the whole society is much too big. The question
should not be decided upon without a public debate and a thorough
discussion. The Swedish government should within the EU and at the
conference in
Geneve work for a no to the WIPO proposal in its present state."

Best regards,

Jakob Harnesk,  Executive officer
Royal Library, BIBSAM (Office for National Planning and Co-ordination)
P.O  Box 5039, S- 102 41  Stockholm,

E-mail: harnesk@libris.kb.se URL:http://www.kb.se/bibsam/jakob/jakob.htm Telephone: +46 8 463 42 70 : +46 70 553 91 98 Fax : +46 8 463 42 74 ***********************************************************************

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