SSCR27 is being held all this week at WIPO in Geneva. Limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives are tabled for discussion and IFLA has being working towards the proposal of a treaty for libraries and archives. LIBER has joined the meeting as an ad-hoc observer.
LIBER’s first opportunity to make an intervention was on the topic of cross-border access, a topic that is at the heart of the copyright issues affecting research libraries in Europe and internationally as is outlined in the text of the intervention below.
Thank you Mr Chair.
As this is the first time we have taken the floor, on behalf of LIBER, La Ligue des Bibliotheques Europeene de Recherche, I would like to thank the committee for granting us observer status.
LIBER represents 410 research libraries (university, research centre, and national libraries) from over 40 countries across Europe and beyond. Our mission is to create an information infrastructure to enable research in our institutions to be world class. Research shows that much of the best research in Europe takes place as a result of international, cross-border collaborations. Our information infrastructure must be globally oriented, and underpinned by a legal framework that supports seamless access to information and enables its exploitation for innovation.
The collaborative nature of research and the value of its results are increasing exponentially. This potential has been recognised in the G8 Open Data Charter of 2013. The Charter also recognises that international IP legislation must be observed.
The Research Data Alliance, which was a brainchild of the G8, aims to facilitate international and interdisciplinary collaboration and recognises the importance of legal interoperability. The scope of intellectual property protection of information within them can be confusing, even to the legal community.
The cross border nature of many of the activities of libraries are many. To name but a few: interlibrary loan, licensing, the use of orphan works and out of commerce works, document supply, and as outlined yesterday by the German library association also the purchasing of analogue information across borders. The United States national library, the library of congress even has overseas field offices in cairo, islamabad, jakarta, nairobi, new delhi and rio de janeiro for this purpose.
As this illustrates preservation, collection development, and sharing by large research libraries is by definition international and cross border.
We also see the huge growth in international research outputs. According to bibliometric data over 40 per cent of research outputs from France and germany are from international research collaborations. The UK between 1990 and 2005 saw collaborations with researchers in India, Australia, Canada and germany grow from 50 percent with germany, up to 65 percent in the case of India.
Why then given all this cross border activity are library limitations and not cross border in their effect? Education, culture, and this huge increase in international research and education does not take place in jurisdictional silos.
In the context of a cross border research project, it is only common sense that a medical researcher shares a new and pertinent research finding packaged in the form of a research article with his or her international colleagues working on the same project. National silos of limitations and exceptions do not clearly allow such activity. It could be argued perhaps within Europe that levy based private copying exceptions may allow this article to travel from Berlin to Vienna. But how does it work when this article travels to Canada where no such levies exist. Did the German legislature foresee this use in Canada, is it incorporated in the German levy calculations? How do German limitations and exceptions interplay with Canadian fair dealing exceptions? Are there obligations that Candian laws place on the German researcher when making the copy?
This example I think aptly illustrates why nation based silos of limitations and exceptions leave libraries in an impossible legal position in the context of the cross border learning and research environment we live in.
As we see starting to happen in the EU for certain limitations and exceptions, LIBER believes we need certain, specific, well-defined exceptions that facilitate the activities of libraries to be cross border in effect.
Not doing so does not reflect the norms of our respective member states massive investment in libraries, research and education itself. Complexity does not mean that we should not solve this.