Herschel Smith lecture

Subject: Herschel Smith lecture
From: Norman, Sandy (NormanS@la-hq.org.uk)
Date: pe 02 touko  1997 - 17:35:16 EEST

Last night I attended this annual lecture at the Institute of Advanced
Legal Studies in London. The guest lecturer was Sir Anthony Mason,
former Chief Justice of Australia and Chairman of the Australian
National Library. The title of his presentation was Developments in
the law of Copyright and Public Access to Information. I came out
feeling really inspired as he was voicing the concerns of libraries
about how unnecessarily restrictive copyright law is becoming. He
began by saying that " Freedom of expression and public access to
information are indispensable conditions of a free and democratic
age". He said that it is essential that exceptions such as fair use
are enshrined in law and endorsed Article 10 of the new WIPO treaty
which allows for exceptions to continue into the digital environment.
The way things are going in the EU posed "inherent dangers to freedom
of access to information" and that the EU was a "hard-nosed supporter
of owner interests". He said wonderful things about libraries and
voiced many of our frustrations regarding access and use. The only
thing which I was concerned about was that he said the disputes over
fair dealing and implied licensing need to be solved case by case. Is
anyone brave enough (and with enough money behind them) to risk it?

At the end he said that libraries MUST BE STRONG. With such a legal
expert on our side, this gives me courage to keep fighting.

Sandy Norman
Information Manager (Legal and Parliamentary)
Information Services
The Library Association
7 Ridgmount Street
London WC1E 7AE
Tel: 0171 636 7543 Fax: 0171: 436 7218 Email: sandy@la-hq.org.uk

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