Lorente said she was happy to discuss with people whose only concern is to make culture public. She summarized the position of SACD [on Internet and copyright] as follows: Who can say what the digital information society becomes? The concern of the creative community is to keep the exclusive rights that were in the analog world in the digital world. The law is perfectly adapted to the digital communications. Why should there be new exceptions in the digital environment which were not there in the analog environment? We don't know how far we can control a work that is on a database or in the library, and ensure that it will not be copied to many other sites. SACD is able to manage the exclusive rights in the sense that the public has access to culture. This is achieved by existing arrangements or by agreements with the Ministry of Education. But we don't know what will become of the Internet, so let us rely on what is existing, and adapt when we now more.
The SACD has made an extensive study on the MAI. What is at stake, essentially, is the power of international companies over states and governments. MAI would be the end of our incentives system and of our cinema system, Lorente said.
No new international treaty on intellectual property is needed in addition to the existing WIPO treaty and the TRIPS agreement. It is also to be said that the artistic intellectual property is not just another commodity or investment.
Cécile Despringre added comments on the different national traditions visavi copyright and author's rights. "What we are trying to do, at the European level, is a directive with very precise exceptions [from the copyright] for quotations, libraries and private copies", she said. The exclusive right of the author is the contrary to the 'work for hire'-doctrine. 'Work for hire' means that a company like MGM or Universal Studio is considered author while the writer or actor is considered a salaried employee.
Janine Lorente and Cécile Despringre brought the text of an Open Letter To The Members Of The European Parliament to the attention of the roundtable. The letter, which has been signed by a number of artists in differenet European countries, warns against including provisions about "fair use" [of copyrighted materials] in the EU Directive on copyright.
[The "Open Letter" is reproduced in Section 7 of this report.]
Krohn mentioned that she has published many of her own essays and short stories on the World Wide Web. "The author has the choice", she said, "to publish free of charge on the web or not to publish there at all." She added that she does not yet know of a practical way for an individual author to charge those who visit his or her pages.
Krohn believes that the electronic book is coming: "Such a book is empty - but it is precisely its emptiness that enables it to contain a library, or libraries. Slightly altering the Finnish poet Mirkka Rekola's words: 'Each day an empty page in front of me. I read it and keep it open'".
[See section "7. Papers, notes and related materials" for Leena Krohn's essay "Hope and Technology", which discusses e.g. copyright from the author's point of view.]
[See section "7. Papers, notes and related materials" for Sinikka Sipilä's article on "MAI and the Libraries".]
Puddephat was sceptical about the opinion that the the provisions of the MAI could lead to public service libraries being shut down in Britain. The courts are bound by the European convention of human rights, and maybe soon also by a Freedom of Information Act.
We are in a series of "global opportunity treaties", such as the GATT, the WTO and the MAI. These treaties are very highly deregulatory, highly anti-state, very pro unrestricted flow of the free capital. But, the context where the MAI negotiations started two years ago, and the context now, where even Jeffrey Sachs [the director of the Harvard Institute for International Development] is calling for a global regulatory mechanism, are very different, Puddephat said. The follies of unregulated capital movements and the threats these impose to the world have been recognized. It is already obvious that this recognition will affect the MAI, too.
Which are the global structures that we want to safeguard? Which are the concrete policy options to pursue? Blair says he wants to host the summit on this very subject (but we know that his government has no idea on it). The destructive effects of the deregulatory measures to the world economy have created a policy option for new ideas.
A great deal of public access available at present will be lost in relation to electronic formats according to the draft EU directive. Things that are even more basic than fair use - browsing, for example - will have to go. If you are not allowed to browse you must copy and pay for it. The browsability which is available for books would be lost for electronic resources.
In Sweden , we don't have "fair deal" provisions, but we do have copyright exceptions for private use and for libraries, archives, education and museums. Libraries are not allowed to make copies of whole documents.
The draft mentions a new 'right of communication to the public'. This right could have strange affects. If the material is on a database, the libraries would be allowed to copy it, but not to show it. So the librarian would have to cover the PC with a blanket, because to show the material would be 'communication to the public'.
A work may still be copied in order to give access to the blind or deaf. But, an additional clause says that the library must not copy or give access if this can
infringe the economic rights of the authors or rightholders. It is almost impossible to get through that needle's eye.
For freelance journalists, there is a question of publishing rights, Gary Herman noted.
I was against the EU Directive which changed the copyright term from fifty to seventy years. I thought that it is against the constitution to take material back from the public domain. The word 'public domain' was not even mentioned by that directive.
The public domain is represented by libraries. In the Helsinki area
every inhabitant borrows 18 books per year from the library. To fight for
the public domain means to give the library special privileges.