|Title:||Study on Copyright Limitations and Related Rights|
|Citation:||Crews, K., Study on Copyright Limitations and Related Rights, Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, Thirtieth Session, SCCR/30/3 (2015).|
|Link(s):||Definitive , Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|Linked by:||Hackett (2015)|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||A global comparative legal analysis of statutory library exceptions from all 188 WIPO member countries as of 2015.|
|Data Type:||Secondary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||Yes|
|Government or policy study?:||Yes|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
Of the 188 member countries, 156 of them have at least one statutory library exception, and most of the countries have multiple statutory provisions addressing a variety of library issues. Thus, of the 188 countries, 32 have no library exception in their domestic copyright statutes. These basic statistics suggest strongly that exceptions for libraries and archives are fundamental to the structure of copyright law throughout the world, and that the exceptions play an important role in facilitating library services and serving the social objectives of copyright law. The most common subject matter of the statutes is making copies (usually single copies) of works for readers, researchers, and other library users, and making copies for preservation of materials in the collections. Almost as frequently, countries have enacted statutes authorizing libraries to make copies for replacement of works that have suffered damage or loss.
These three topics long have been a mainstay of library exceptions, but recent years have brought revisions that reflect changing needs and new technologies. Most significantly, the European Union adopted a 2001 directive that authorized member countries to make digitized copies of works available to users on the premises of the library for research and study. That provision has been adopted in many of the European countries, and analogous statutes have been made a part of domestic law in countries beyond the E.U. On the other hand, relatively few countries have enacted truly distinctive law that breaks from various trends in lawmaking to address newly emerging problem areas at the border between copyright and digital technologies. Among the countries that have enacted extensive and original statutes in recent years are Canada, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom.
While few countries have enacted comparable major changes, at any given time many countries are either revising their library exceptions or adopting entirely new copyright acts. Indeed, Mauritius and Seychelles adopted wholly new copyright acts in 2014. Revisions of selected copyright statutes have occurred during just the last several months in numerous European countries and in Canada, Mexico, Peru, and Singapore. Research on worldwide copyright developments is a dynamic pursuit.
Main Results of the Study
- Main results of the study are presented in comparative chart form.
- Copyright statutes also reflect the tension that can exist among a country’s competing objectives. The details of the library exceptions reveal much about the relationship of copyright law to library services. They also can manifest a compromise among cultural, historical, and economic objectives, typically by permitting libraries to make socially beneficial uses of copyrighted works, while setting limits and conditions aimed at protecting the interests of copyright owners, publishers, and other rightsholders. This report offers the raw data of statutes that can allow for a deeper understanding of the objectives and alternatives for developing even more effective law in the future.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Country|
|Period of material under study:||2014-2015|