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[InetBib] EBLIDA protestiert gegen EU-Bericht zum Urheberrecht
- Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 09:42:11 +0100
- From: Müller, Harald <hmueller@xxxxxxx>
- Subject: [InetBib] EBLIDA protestiert gegen EU-Bericht zum Urheberrecht
EBLIDA hat soeben einen Protestbrief an die Mitglieder des Rechtsausschusses im
Europaparlament geschickt. Es geht dabei um den sogenannten Ortega-Bericht
EBLIDA schreibt dazu:
Dear member of the European Parliament
The libraries of Europe strongly disapprove of the forthcoming report
compiled by Mr Medina Ortega.
It promotes the interests of major right-holders, without a balancing
promotion of the interests of non-commercial users of copyright material
(such as researchers, schoolchildren and citizens generally).
It suggests that the InfoSoc Directive is working well, when independent
evidence suggests the opposite.
It suggests that the Directive provides a 'fair balance' between the
monopoly enjoyed by right-holders, on the one hand, and the benefits to
society embodied in the exceptions to copyright, on the other hand. But
the Directive has simply not provided European citizens with the exceptions
We expand on these points in the letter attached,
We urge you to vote against the report, which will not serve the interests
of Europe's information society taken as a whole.
on behalf of EBLIDA
Der beigefügte Text erläutert dies:
Dear Member of the European Parliament,
EBLIDA is the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation
Associations. It is an independent umbrella association of national library,
information, documentation and archive associations and institutions across the
European Union and beyond.
We write in regard to Mr Manuel Medina Ortega's Report on copyright, which is
scheduled to be voted on in plenary session of the JURI committee on 2 or 18
We ask you to reject the submission.
Our reasons are that the Report contains assertions that are contrary to
independent expert evidence, and that it take no account of the importance of
lawful access by the public, through the exceptions to copyright, to the world
of published information.
Libraries have traditionally striven for an equitable balance between the
interests of the right-sholder and those of the user. The Ortega paper however
is unbalanced, paying little atten-tion to the important role of exceptions to
copyright. Not only does it talk of libraries, with whom to our knowledge Mr
Medina Ortega has sought no consultation, but also it misrepre-sents the
fundamentals of the debates on Orphan Works, and contradicts the numerous
submissions from the European library community to the Commission's recent Green
Paper on "Copyright in the Knowledge Economy."1
EBLIDA respects authors' rights as the basic pillar of the copyright régime.
However, the exceptions to copyright are equally part of the fabric of the
régime. It is important that we have a strong copyright system that represents
both the interests of the rights holders as well as the users - something Mr
Ortega's report regrettably does not attempt to do. We need a viable exceptions
regime, because exceptions guarantee broadly speaking human rights, access to
knowledge, education and culture, and form the basis of a strong social contract
of respect that will benefit all within our Information Society.
At first sight the Information Society Directive is reasonably accommodating to
the excep-tions to copyright. In quantity, the exceptions it potentially
provides are more generous than those implemented by most Member States.
However, some major defects fundamentally weaken its carefully enumerated list:
o The list of exceptions is exhaustive. It keeps the exceptions firmly in the
twentieth cen-tury by limiting those available to provisions that have been
found useful in the past. In a matter as important to Europe as the knowledge
economy, the Directive shows a failure of nerve, in this respect, that can only
be damaging for the future. No new exceptions may be added by Member States in
national legislation. It is strange that an exclusive list can be thought to be
adequate in the light of the evolving Internet technologies.
o It is also unfortunate that (apart from the first) the list of exceptions is
optional. Mem-ber States have chosen different exceptions, with the result that
harmonisation has not been achieved.
1 For example see the Green Paper responses made by EBLIDA
http://www.eblida.org/uploads/eblida/10/1228208920.pdf, eIFL: Electronic
Information for Libraries
/#Green, and LACA: the Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance, UK
The assertion in Mr Medina Ortega's report that the Directive is 'satisfactory'
takes no ac-count of the independent and exhaustive study conducted by the
Institute for Information Law at the University of Amsterdam in 2007 which
concluded (p.169), 'In sum, it is fair to con-clude that the Directive has at
best only partly achieved its main goal of promoting growth and innovation in
online content services. As our benchmark test has revealed, the Directive
deserves particularly low marks for its lack of harmonising effect and its lack
of legal cer-tainty'.2
With regard to Orphan Works, the Ortega Report displays a regrettable lack of
understanding around the issues, and disregards the positive work embarked upon
by libraries and right-sholders with the InfoSoc DG. By definition an Orphan
Work does not have a traceable owner and therefore, in contradiction to the
Ortega statements, it cannot be digitised with the permission of the
rightsholder. The inadequacy of the Information Society Directive is
illus-trated by the fact that the Commission's i2010 Digital Library Initiative
includes no significant numbers of orphan works. This limit on its usefulness
will remain because there are no proper exceptions to cope with the Orphan Works
problem - unless new statutory solutions are introduced.
The goal of the Commission Recommendation 2006/585/EC of 24 August 2006 is to
make the European cultural heritage online available to the public. The
realisation of this goal re-quires mass digitisation. However, in the "Final
Report on Digital Preservation, Orphan Works, and Out-of-Print Works" and the
"Memorandum of Understanding on orphan works" the question of mass digitisation
is not addressed. Even within its limited scope, the Memo-randum, which covers
only the digitisation of individual works, does not provide libraries with any
legal certainty. Legal certainty would require
o either that Member States have recourse to Recital 18 of the Information
Society Direc-tive and adopt extended collective licensing, like the Nordic
o or that they introduce an exception, or other statutory solution, in order to
allow the copy-ing and making available of works (notably unpublished works) for
which no appropriate licensing body exits.
Any innovation in national legislation to permit the use of orphan works would
require either amendment of Directive 2001/29/EC or the creation of a new
Community legal instrument to allow this.
This message is on behalf of the libraries of Europe, and also on behalf of
Europe's citizens, who use their libraries to obtain much of the important
information they need.
Director of EBLIDA
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Dr. Harald Müller
Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht /
Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law
and International Law / Library
Im Neuenheimer Feld 535; D-69120 Heidelberg
Phone: +49 6221 482 219; Fax: +49 6221 482 593
Listeninformationen unter http://www.inetbib.de.