WIPO database meeting 17-19 September 1997


Subject: WIPO database meeting 17-19 September 1997
From: Emanuella Giavarra (ecup.secr@dial.pipex.com)
Date: ma 15 syys   1997 - 19:58:14 EEST


Dear list members,

This week from 17-19 September 1997 the WIPO Informal Meeting Concerning
Intellectual Property in Databases will be held in Geneva.

A draft Treaty on this subject was prepared by Mr Jukka Liedes for
consideration at the WIPO Diplomatic Conference of December 1996. The
draft Treaty proved controversial. It was never discussed in substance
at the Diplomatic Conference. Even at the informal meeting of this week,
the draft Treaty itself is not scheduled as a topic of debate.

The content of the draft Treaty of 1996 would have obliged signatory
countries to protect databases in any form and medium, based on a
"substantial investment in the collection, assembly, verification,
organization or presentation" of the contents. It would have protected
against the extraction or utilization of all or a substantial part of a
protected database's content for a period of either 15 or 25 years, with
new terms attaching upon any substantial change qualifying as a new
substantial investment. Countries would have been permitted to adopt
exceptions to the right, provided that they did not conflict with a
normal exploitation of the database and did not unreasonably prejudice
the interests of the right holder. The treatment of government databases
would have been left up to each individual country.

Besides the EBLIDA delegation, I was informed that a representative of
ICSU, International Council of Scientific Unions, will be present at
this WIPO meeting. Please let me know if you are aware of any other
representative who will be present at this meeting who the library
community can liaise with.

ICSU has prepared a Position Paper on access to databases which is very
interesting. Comments are made on the EU Directive which is seen as not
a suitable model for legislation in this area and that action on an
international treaty is premature. The Position Paper can be found at:
http://www.nrc.ca/programs/codata/data_access/WIPOpaper.html

A positive outcome of any WIPO Database Treaty could be that it
clarifies the EU Directive or even amends it. In Europe, at the moment,
we are stuck with a EU Directive which, interpreted incorrectly, could
mean an enormous restriction on access to information.

Please let us know which points you would like the EBLIDA delegation to
include in their oral submission to the WIPO gathering.

Kind regards,
Emanuella Giavarra



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