Monday, October 13, 2008

New International Study on Copyright Exceptions for Libraries

In an item posted on the weekend on the Canadian collaborative legal affairs blog slaw.ca, Lesley Ellen Harris draws attention to a new study published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) entitled Study on Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives.

From the executive summary of the WIPO document:
"This study of copyright exceptions for libraries and archives provides an overview of the nature and diversity of statutory provisions in the copyright law of the 184 countries that are members of the World Intellectual Property Organization. For the first time, it gathers library exceptions from nearly all WIPO countries and provides an analytical survey of the law. The statutory exceptions for libraries primarily address such issues as reproduction of copyrighted works for purposes such as private research and study, preservation and replacement of materials, and document supply and interlibrary lending. Some countries have statutes on the 'making available' of copyrighted works. This study also encompasses library exceptions to the prohibition against circumvention of technological protection measures."

"Of the 184 countries in WIPO, the research for this project collected current and translated statutes from 149 countries. Of those countries, 128 of them have at least one statutory library exception, and most of the countries have multiple statutes addressing a variety of library issues. Twenty-one countries have no library exception in their copyright law. These basic statistics demonstrate the widespread prevalence of library exceptions, suggesting that they play an important role in the law and in facilitating library services. The fact that statutes tend to center on pursuits such as research and preservation also suggests that copyright law has an important role in the ability of citizens to have continuing access to the rich variety of materials held in libraries."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:48 pm

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