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CIS Statement on the proposed treaty for Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives

Posted by Nehaa Chaudhari at Dec 19, 2013 01:00 PM |
Nehaa Chaudhari on behalf of the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) made the statement at the WIPO-SCCR on December 18, 2013.

CIS would like to congratulate the Chair and the Vice Chairs on their election; and thank the Secretariat and the entire Committee for the hard work being put in this week at the SCCR.

The Centre for Internet and Society, in agreement among others, with the GRULAC, the African Group, Tunisia, Senegal, Sudan and India, believes that an international instrument to govern exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives is critical, especially from the perspective of developing and least developed countries, to ensure the development of an international copyright system that balances rights of both the right holders and the users.

We believe that such an international instrument would serve a two fold purpose- one, of protecting copyrighted works, two, of providing greater access to these materials, and the dissemination of knowledge, culture and information; and would be in furtherance of WIPO’s Development Agenda.

On the question of these exceptions being a part of national legislations alone; our submission in three fold:

First, as stated by the delegation of Tunisia, that national legislations lack uniformity on the issue of exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives- and in this context, the development of this international instrument that we are discussing today, is particularly important.  Second, as stated by the African Group, such an international instrument would also foster a system for cross border exchange; with limitations and exceptions operating at the international level. Third, as mentioned by KEI in their statement, discussions here are likely to influence law making, specifically the development of limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives at the national level.

Specifically, Mister Chairman, the Centre for Internet and Society would like to address three specific issues from the Working Document SCCR/26/3 before us today.

First, On the three step test. We believe that in order to truly facilitate access to knowledge and information, libraries and archives should have the benefit of any and all flexibilities. Therefore, a narrow interpretation of the three step test should NOT be adopted.

Second we believe that the protection of works in digital form as well as online libraries and archives is critical from an access to information and education perspective, as was noted by the delegation from Senegal. We believe therefore that the transmission of works in in a digital form as well as any internet service providers engaged in facilitating access to materials under this proposed instrument should also be granted protection.

Third, libraries, archives, educational, research and teaching institutions should be allowed to import and export copyrighted works and parallel trade in these works should be allowed.

Thank you, Mister Chair.


Videos of the WIPO's proceedings from December 16 to 20 are available online. CIS' statement is in the video titled SCCR/26- Wed18 - English - Afternoon session. The length of the video is 02:51:05. The statement is available in this video from 22 minutes, 56 seconds- when the Chair recognizes CIS.