Rights, Limitations & Exceptions Conference

Subject: Rights, Limitations & Exceptions Conference
From: Sarah Keates (Sarah.Keates@mail.bl.uk )
Date: ma 24 marras 1997 - 13:43:54 EET

Rights, Limitations & Exceptions: Striking a Proper Balance

The Rights, Limitations & Exceptions Conference took place, as
planned, on 30-31 October 1997 at the Marriott Hotel in

Hosted jointly by the IFLA Office for UAP and IMPRIMATUR (a
European Commission project supported by DGIII), the conference
formed the third of five Consensus Fora to be arranged by
IMPRIMATUR. The conference was chaired by Mihály Ficsor,
Assistant Director General of WIPO, and the highly acclaimed
keynote speech was made by Bernt Hugenholtz of the Institute for
Information Law, University of Amsterdam

Delegates then adjourned to working groups for the rest of the
day. These were chaired by William Cornish, University of
Cambridge; Thomas Dreier of the Max-Planck-Institut; Stephen
Edwards, Richards Butler; Tarja Koskinen-Olsson, Kopiosto; Ralph
Oman, Dechert, Price & Rhoads; Pamela Samuelson, University of
California and Jean-Paul Triaille, Mons avocat. The seven groups
discussed the same range of issues under the general headings of
the scope of rights in copyright, non-commercial uses, commercial
and technical solutions and public interest. Conference
delegates had been allocated a working group by the organisers -
this ensured that there was as much of a mixture of interests as
possible within each group and none were overbalanced by a
predominance of any one area of business. They were helped, if
help was required, by a rapporteur who had been asked in advance
to do the job, and who would also be able to help chairmen with
compiling a report for the following day.

The day ended with a reception hosted jointly by ALCS and
MCPS/PRS (UK) and Buma/Stemra (Netherlands) in a lovely old
building on Prinsengracht, one of Amsterdam's main canals.

The second day of the conference brought all delegates together
again to start the day with a review of the working groups
discussions. The whole day was recorded and the transcribed
cassette tapes, once edited, will form part of the conference

It appeared that each group had reached varying degrees of
consensus on the topics discussed. On some issues it is so far
impossible to agree a common approach, but it was seen as a step
forward that all interested parties were at least attending the
same conference and in a situation where a variety of viewpoints
could be presented. It was clear that much more time could
usefully be devoted to such discussions if consensus is to become
a possibility in the future.

Responses to the deliberations of the working groups were given
by the US Copyright Office (Shira Perlmutter), WIPO (Kurt Kemper)
and DGXV (Birgit Weise-Montag). The floor was opened to comments
and questions and following the chairman's concluding remarks
towards the end of the afternoon, the conference closed.

The proceedings will be published by the IFLA Office for UAP
before the end of the year and will also be available
electronically. Please contact Sarah Keates (IFLA Office for
UAP, c/o The British Library, Boston Spa, Wetherby, West Yorks.
LS23 7BQ, UK tel +1937 546124 fax +1937 546478
email sarah.keates@bl.uk) if you would like to receive a copy.

Sarah Keates
November 1997

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