FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 05 August 2016
NEW: WHAT EVERY COPYRIGHT LAW SHOULD HAVE TO SUPPORT LIBRARIES
Restrictive copyright laws create legal barriers to using resources for education, research and socio-economic development. This can have significant consequences for people who use libraries in developing and transition economy countries, where the ability to produce and use knowledge is a major factor in development.
EIFL, (Electronic Information for Libraries) has published a new, easy to use checklist to assist librarians in evaluating national copyright law for core library activities and services, to identify gaps or to see where the law is doing well.
The EIFL Core Library Exceptions Checklist provides a starting point for policy advocacy or to propose amendments if the copyright law is being updated in a particular country. ‘Rate my copyright law’ scores national law to see how well it performs.
“We know from the WIPO study on limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives that many countries still have no provision for libraries within domestic copyright law,” said Teresa Hackett, EIFL’s Copyright and Libraries Programme Manager, “Nearly half of WIPO’s member states do not explicitly allow libraries to make copies for research or study. And we know that the pace of change regarding digital activities, such as digital preservation, is too slow.
“The checklist helps make clear what national law does and does not allow, and where changes are needed. It complements our work at WIPO where we are advocating for an international treaty to set basic, minimum standards for libraries and archives everywhere.”
The checklist sets out provisions that every copyright law should have to support library activities and services in the 21st century, such as
- making an electronic copy of a journal article or book chapter for a user,
- providing library material for use in virtual learning environments, and undertaking digital preservation.
The checklist has 18 questions concerning library activities and services. Each question has a short explanatory note and a model provision.
Accompanying the checklist is ‘Rate my copyright law’, a scorecard to rate national law for core library exceptions and to score how the law performs out of a total of 36 points (if every question is answered).
“EIFL has once again provided vital leadership on the development of copyright exceptions for libraries and archives. To call this succinct and masterful guide a ‘checklist’ can be an understatement. EIFL has prepared an invaluable overview of many issues we might look for and demand in our national copyright statutes.
“This guide will prove crucial for library professionals working with the law, as well as for legislators and government officials seeking to advance their national copyright standards,”
said Dr Kenneth D. Crews, lawyer, professor, and international copyright consultant.
About EIFL: EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) is a not-for-profit organization that works with libraries to enable access to knowledge in developing and transition economy countries in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America. Visit the website, www.eifl.net.
About the EIFL Copyright and Libraries Programme
The EIFL Copyright and Libraries Programme builds capacity of librarians in copyright and develops useful resources on copyright issues. The programme advocates for global rules to benefit libraries campaigns for national copyright law reform.
Read more: www.eifl.net/programmes/copyright-and-libraries-programme.
Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of EIFL, on Friday 5 August, 2016. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/