Subject: Draft Copyright Directive revealed today
From: Emanuella Giavarra (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: to 11 joulu 1997 - 00:40:55 EET
Dear list members,
Today the long-awaited proposal for a Directive harmonising aspects of
copyright and related rights in the Information Society was presented by
the European Commission. The proposal aims to adjust and complement the
existing legal framework, with particular emphasis on new products and
services containing intellectual property (both on-line and on physical
carriers such as CDs, CD-ROMs and Digital Video Discs).
The proposal covers provisions for the reproduction right, the
communication to the public right, user exceptions, the distribution
right and the legal protection of anti-copying and rights management
The proposal does not include provisions concerning liability of
on-line service providers. This is considered a horizontal issue and a
separate proposal for EU legislation is expected during 1998.
Concerning the exceptions, which are of crucial importance to
libraries and users, the draft Directive provides for an exhaustive
list - in other words, Member States are not allowed to apply any
other exceptions than those explicitly listed in the Directive.
Moreover, when applying the exceptions, Member States have to limit them
to specific cases and to respect the economic interests of
rightholders (the so called "three-step-test" in the two new WIPO
The press release mentions an obligatory exception to the reproduction
right for certain technical acts of reproduction dictated by technology
but which have no separate economic significance of their own.
In addition, Member States would have the option of allowing additional
exceptions to the reproduction right for:
* reproductions on paper or similar support by using any kind of
photographic techniques or other processes with similar effects
* reproductions on audio, visual or audio-visual recording media made by
private individuals for private use and non-commercial ends ("private
* specific acts of reproduction made by public libraries, museums and
other establishments accessible to the public, which are not for direct
or indirect economic or commercial advantage.
Member States also have the option of applying exceptions to both the
reproduction right and the communication to the public right in the case
* use for the sole purpose of illustration for teaching and scientific
* non-commercial uses for the benefit of visually-impaired or
* use of excerpts in connection with the reporting of current events
* quotations for criticism or review
* use for the purposes of public security or proper performance of an
administrative or judicial procedure.
The draft Copyright Directive will be published in the Official Journal
shortly. I will come back to you with the URL and the number of the
Official Journal as soon as I have it.
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