DGXV comments to Copyright Directive

Subject: DGXV comments to Copyright Directive
From: Barbara Schleihagen (eblida@nblc.nl)
Date: to 11 joulu  1997 - 12:16:51 EET

The European Commission, DG XV, has put some background information, the
text of the press release and some FAQs on its website at:


One of the most interesting FAQ and DG XV's reply:

"Why can Member States exempt libraries only from the reproduction right?
Why does the exemption not extend to other rights?

The proposal would allow Member States to allow an exception to the
reproduction right for libraries and similar establishments accessible to
the public for certain activities because this is already the case in most
Member States. Furthermore, the Rental Rights Directive of 1992 already
allows libraries to enjoy privileges with respect to their lending activities.

However, the new proposal envisages no exceptions for libraries from the
right of communication/making available to the public. Their communication
to the public and making available of protected material on-line must
therefore be based on licensing agreements.

This correspond to the legal situation in most Member States. It is
justified, in particular with respect to the making available of material
on-line by libraries (on-site or off-site), as such new use in the digital
environment differs significantly in economic terms from the traditional
"lending of physical copies", which can only be seen by one at a time. In
the on-line situation, perfect quality copies of any work can be made
available on-demand to a large number of users , be it on-site (with a
multiplicity of screens in the library) or off-site (to other libraries or
remote users).

If there was an exception for making available works on-line, even when
limited to the physical site of the establishment, there would be a risk of
impeding the development of new ("normal") on-line exploitation of works.
It would give libraries an undue privilege over other net content providers."

Barbara Schleihagen

Barbara Schleihagen, Director
Heidi Grootscholten, EU Policy Officer
P.O. Box 43300
NL-2504 AH The Hague
Tel: +31-70-309 06 08
Fax: +31-70-309 07 08
email: eblida@nblc.nl

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