Harmonisation of user rights

Subject: Harmonisation of user rights
From: Heikki Poroila (poroila@kaapeli.fi)
Date: su 16 helmi  1997 - 07:55:11 EET

Prof. Charles Oppenheim wrote:
"Yes, I for one would favour harmonisation of user rights. One of the
big problems in copyright is the lack of consistency of exceptions,
but not of owners' rights, between countries. But of course, users
should be arguing for the maximum of such user rights."

The problem will be the level of harmonisation. If you look at the
history in EU harmonisation of copyright, the level chosen has always
been the most favourable to the copyright owners (for instance changing
the protection time from 50 to 70 years just because Germany had that 70
years). We in Scandinavia still have some user rights people living in
Central Europe or UK have lost. I'm afraid that harmonisation would
harmonise use to that level, not the contrary.

Strong exceptions on international level would have been a wonderful
result from the WIPO conference, but we have seen that this was not

Heikki Poroila
Music Librarian
Vantaa City Library

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