6. Summary of the proceedings (part two)

This discussion followed after the coffee break. It was preceded by Petra Wikström's presentation of the current EU position.

6.1. What is the aim of the EU Directive on copyright?

Cécile Despringre
We have to bear in mind that it is a directive on the protection of copyright. It is not a directive which aims at regulating the information society as a whole. It is to affirm the validity of the copyright in the new means of communication.
The Chairman
Although the directive focuses on the copyright aspect, we would want to assess that it concerns those other democratic values or "public service values" (Gary Herman) as well.

Question (of the chairman): Which of the Committees of the European Parliament focuses on the broader implications of the directive?

Answer (by Cécile Despringre): The Legal Affars Committee.

Susanna Broms
The Directive speaks about copyright and investment. I did not see the word culture anywhere. It is not a nursery for the authors.

6.2. Fame and fortune

Kersti Juva, literary translator
I think there is a third dimension, said Kersti Juva, who recently finished a translation of "Tristram Shandy" into Finnish. Our work as authors and translators is already as such a public service. In the case of the translators it is the service of mediation.

I think there are two groups here: those, for whom copyright is a commercial issue, who do all these things for money and those for whom it is not. I think we are used as a smoke-screen. You said that a good copyright serves us nicely. It doesn't. For something that Leena Krohn does, or that I do, or all the authors who were mentioned here do, there is no money in it. We have to make our living otherwise. So we are actually in the same line as the libraries and with the whole of society, and just as vulnerable.

Sure, I don't want that little money I can get to be taken away from me; I will fiercely protect that. I am just saying that even from where I look at it, the issue is morally more complicated. If I publish something, it is for the public. Works are like children. The parents do not own their children, they have just sent them out and they have a life of their own. Our discussion is too focused on the money issue.

The Chairman
The expression "fame and fortune" is a handy way to cover many of these issues.
Irina Krohn
In Finnish, we speak about 'maker's rights' [tekijänoikeus]. In connection with the databases, we have found that the fame goes to the author and the fortune to the producer. The word maker is confusing because it covers both. The author and the producing company are put in the same basket although they have different interests. As long as the author is alive he has more in common with the libraries. But I want to be on the same side as the French ladies here.
Janine Lorente
The problem is that the authors are paid by the publishers. When the publisher or producer sells hundreds or thousands of copies, the author should be compensated. We know that libraries are not making commercial activities. But if we are not careful with the exceptions, we don't know what will happen. We are not sure that, for instance, encoding will work. Let us wait before we make exceptions. Let us negotiate with libraries. The agreement between libraries and the French government is signed both by companies (publishers) and by the authors.
Kersti Juva
We don't make our living from copyright, but from grants from the Finnish government.

6.3. Why to worry about the Directive?

Maurice Frankel
What is there with this directive I should worry about? Should I worry about problems which the directive does not address, or about what the directive permits governments to do, or about what the member states may be prohibited, or forced to do?
Anthony Roediger
The directive makes a division between old and new technology. Your countries will still be able to have the same rules for copying onto paper. So that for photocopying books, the rules are not going to change. But as soon as digital technology is involved, the rules are different. The directive would allow one rule but not the other.

There are two currents of thinking. The first says that you ought to be able to do everything in the electronic age that seems similar to what you did with the old technology. You should be able to read a book for free and, therefore, you should be able to read it for free on the Internet; that is a big concern for the libraries.

The others, like the collecting societies, say: we don't know what is happening with the digital age; it is better if we stop that sort of thing, and wait and se what is into it.

Gary Herman
The whole issue is about the vision of the content. This is why we see all these mergers. The only way to make money with the content is to control it. And the only way to control it is to own it.
Mikael Böök
Reading is viewing and, in the digital environment, viewing means copying. The consequence of the draft EU Directive would be that too much of the reading would be organised on a pay-per-view basis. This is a concern, since it could mean the end of reading as we know it. To this day, we have not yet been charged as readers.
Susanna Broms
We should not stay calm with the information that the Directive is supposed to be implemented June 2000, in two years. That is not very slow compared with , for instance, legislation in Sweden.

6.4. Authors, Rightholders and Big Business

Farrell Burnett, Researcher, Centre for Communication and Information Studies, University of Westminster, UK
They say 'rightholders and authors'. In reality, that means big companies. In France, it could mean authors, because of the Civil Code. But it certainly does not mean authors in the case of the journalists and the scientist, who could not get their work published without signing a contract which transfers their rights to the publishers, who become the rightholders. Rightholders means big business.
Anthony Roediger
'Authors' encompasses rightholders generally. Anyone who produces something. News corporations may say "we are the authors".
Gary Herman
We can say, that the artists are the people we are concerned about, but can you imagine the government to say that?

Analysis is needed of the relationship between WIPO, the Directive and national legislation. The WIPO treaty established 'the right to communicate to the public'.

Farrell Burnett
The Berne Convention is founded on the French and German Author's Rights, which is not a common law term.

What the European Union has done in this directive is not quite honest, because they are not speaking strictly Berne Convention. They use the term author as in the common law countries, to mean a legal person. Here is a political point to, beacuse it is becoming clear what they mean by rightsholders.

6.5. Cooperation between authors, rightholders and libraries?

Susanna Broms
The libraries don't want to take any income away from the authors. Neither do we think that free access is access for free. But with this construction, you will perhaps always have to ask the question, can we give access. There are different kinds of digital documents: If a consumer or a library finds interesting works on the internet, it must be a democratic right to reproduce it.
Mikael Böök
Researchers and scientists may be prepared to by-step the publishers, because science is not about making money. It is essential for science as an institution that the results be publicly available in, for instance, libraries. Scientific literature must not be distributed on a pay-per-view basis.
Farrell Burnett
One must be careful to distinguish between copying for commercial purposes and copying for private use. We must be clear about this, that a single copy is not a criminal action.
Janine Lorente
How do you control? I cannot make 100 copies of my videotape, because it costs a lot of money.
Tom Egil Hverven, journalist and critic, Norway
The new media are changing so rapidly that it is very difficult to control. Everybody is able to use, and also everybody is able to become an author.

I talked to participants in the Norwegian debate before coming here. They said that a new side of this debate is that authors or rightsholders come together with librarians or library organisations and try to cooperate. Some of them found that very interesting, because the authors or rightholders and the librarians have some common interests. It would be practical to find out what are the common interests between the authors and the librarians, and which are the common threats.

6.6. What to do next?

Mikael Böök
Together with friends I have written a draft appeal which is enclosed in "Library is a Keyword" [included below among the papers in section 7]. A number of MEP:s, authors and others have signed or promised to sign this appeal. From today on, it is possible to sign it via the website www.kaapeli.fi/saveaccess.

It is not our immediate task to formulate propositions for the Barzanti committee, I think. There seem to be enough lobbyists and alliances of lobbyists who already do this. It could be fruitful to launch a cross-political action which disregards the present alliances of the lobbying organisations.

The fear among librarians is certainly justified. The fear of the collecting societies may also be justified. But their "wait and see" attitude to Internet and the information society is not. It is too passive.

Library is a keyword. The public library, rather than Big Business, deserves to be given control over the information. The position of the library in the society's division of power could be much stronger than it is today. In order to make it stronger, let the "The Information Commissioner" and "Statewatch" move into the library.

Janine Lorente
Victor Hugo said "Dead authors should pay young authors"
Paul Sturges
I think we should lobby the Barzanti committee -- "we" being librarians and broader coalitions. We should also begin immediate lobbying on MAI.
Cécile Despringre
If a library is public, it has a budget to buy works. The problem of budget is a problem with the government. We are with you to increase the budget for the library.
The Chairman
Mikael's vision depends on that, because it implies that the library would have a more prominent role than hitherto in the whole of civil society.
Susanna Broms
Of course, we [the library sector] want more money, but we also want to know what to do with it.

Journalists are supposed to write bout these things, but they have interests in both ways.

Irina Krohn
Mr Jukka Liedes has suggested that the problem of access is a question of political agreement. We just need agreement on the necessary increase in the library budget for buying access to information.

There are two ways:

This may lead to an to a 2-3 times increase in the budget for libraries and to a situation where we lose the libraries, if the increase is not paid. If we lose libraries, it is also against the creators (who also need the libraries)
Tom Egil Hverven
The draft appeal stresses constitutional problems too much.
To counter the yawn of the media, create good stories.
Anthony Roediger
Libraries and authors lobbying together is a good idea, but someone has to pay. A key problem is this: How to strengthen the position of the authors in the negotiations with the corporation.
Mikael Böök
The libraries are the right places to deposit digital newspaper archives. This is a concrete proposal.
Gary Herman
Lobby national parliaments, do not lobby only at the European level.