Subject: EFPICC Press release
From: Barbara Schleihagen (Eblida@nblc.nl)
Date: ma 29 kesä 1998 - 12:35:46 EEST
Press release 29 June 1998
The Consumer Fair Practice Campaign warns that Information Poverty could
result from the new EU Copyright proposals
The European Fair Practices in Copyright Campaign (EFPICC) has warned that
existing personal freedoms to enjoy culture or to benefit from learning
using digital technology could be seriously curtailed under a new EU
copyright Directive. Large segments of European society will be at risk
from falling into the Information Poverty trap. Commercial interests
applying strong monopolistic rights will deny users reasonable access to
and use of music, film, scientific and education materials and programmes.
The kind of access they have enjoyed for years.
EFPICC’s warning comes in response to calls from leading music and film
industries to render unlawful all digital private copying, whatever its
purpose. The Fair Practices Campaign fully supports strong measures to
fight commercial copyright piracy; however, fair practices in terms of
access to copyrighted works, which cause no damage to rightholders, is not
Examples of customary fair practices include making your own personal
compilation of tracks selected from your own purchased collection of CDs,
or the copying by people with a sensory, mental or physical disability to
allow them equal access for educational, informational and recreational
purposes; or the copying by libraries for preservation purposes.
Barbara Schleihagen, campaign spokeswoman says: “The proposed Directive
does not strike a fair balance between social and economic interests. If
the proposed Directive does not guarantee fair practice exemptions by
making them mandatory throughout the EU, there is a real danger that they
will become unlawful in the individual member states. This would be
contrary to the public interest and hampers to the development of the
European (information) society.”
“Private and non-commercial copying is currently lawful in most member
states. The Commission’s proposal for a Directive on copyright in the
Information Society fails to harmonise these lawful practices. This will
alienate many consumers from all the benefits, which the Information
Society has to offer, creating Information Poverty for large segments of
Notes for Editors
1. EFPICC is a campaign to highlight the serious concerns in relation to
the proposed Copyright in the Information Society Directive of leading
associations independently representing: European consumers; library,
archives and documentation centres; disabled persons; education and the
consumer electronics industry. EFPICC members are:
BEUC: European Consumers’ Association
EACEM: European Association of Consumer Electronics
EBLIDA: European Bureau of Library, Information and
EBU: European Blind Union
EDF: European Disability Forum
ILSMH-EA: International League of Societies for Persons with
Mental Handicap – European Association
2. The European Commission issued its proposal for a Directive on Copyright
and Related Rights in the Information Society on 10.12.97 – COM(97) 628 final.
3. Examples of Fair Practice Copying include:
1. Recording a free broadcast television programme if you go out for the
evening or want to watch something else at the same time.
2. Making your own personal compilation recording of tracks selected from
your own purchased collection of CDs.
3. Making a copy of a CD or minidisk you have bought in order to play that
copy in your car or on portable player.
4. Making a copy purely for private back-up or preservation purposes.
5. Copying by people with a sensory, mental or physical disability so that
they are able to enjoy that work in an equivalent way to a person without
such a disability.
For example, a visually impaired person who buys a book should not have to
pay twice to put that book into Braille form. Equally, a person with a
learning disability may have difficulty understanding a programme at first
hearing or viewing. He or she may therefore need to record it to watch it a
little at a time or to get help from others.
6. The copying of a reasonable part of works for the purpose of
(ii) private study
(iii) learning and examination
7. The copying by libraries, archives, documentation centres and
(i) to convert works into digital form for archival or
(ii) of a reasonable part (e.g. a few pages) of digital works on
paper or on diskette for their normal users.
8. The display on screen of lawfully acquired electronic materials
by libraries, archives, and documentation centres to allow
normal users on-site to view, browse, listen to or copy for
private study, educational or research purposes.
9. Browsing on the Internet.
1. For further information, please contact
Barbara Schleihagen, Spokeswoman, tel 0031 70 309 06 08 or
Paula Duarte, Information Officer, tel 0032 2 502 83 71
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
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