|Title:||Time for a single global copyright framework for libraries and archives|
|Link(s):||Definitive , Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The survey regarded the information that a national library was able to provide to libraries in 59 countries under the copyright-based service.|
|Data Type:||Primary and Secondary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||Yes|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
Digital technologies have transformed libraries, archives and access to information. They have revolutionized the information landscape. Libraries and archives support the work of scientists and scholars, which is increasingly collaborative, interdisciplinary and global in nature. In tandem with the expanding opportunities for search and resource discovery enabled by digital technologies, there is growing demand to access materials held in libraries and archives around the world. Global library spending on print and digital content runs into billions of dollars every year – much of it taxpayer funded. In 2014 this amounted to an estimated USD25.4 billion. But faced with a maze of different copyright laws and licensing conditions, libraries and archives are finding it increasingly difficult to respond to the information needs of the public they serve. Preserving our documentary heritage, “our memory of the world,” is expensive. To lower these costs, reduce duplication of effort and maximize reach, libraries and archives are exploring ways of using digital technologies to create shared preservation infrastructures both nationally and internationally. This is imperative within the borderless digital arena. As noted by European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip, responsible for the Digital Single Market, “the borderless nature of digital technologies means it no longer makes sense for each EU country to have its own rules for telecommunications services, copyright, data protection, or the management of radio spectrum.”
Main Results of the Study
- The WIPO study reveals that the majority of member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) – 156 of the 188 countries surveyed (83 percent of them) – have at least one statutory library exception. 32 countries (17 percent) of those surveyed still have no provision for libraries or archives within their domestic copyright law.
- Nearly half of WIPO’s member states – 90 of them (48 percent of the total) – do not explicitly allow libraries to make copies for research or study. The situation is even worse for archives, with two-thirds – 126 countries or 67 percent of them – not permitting archives to make copies for research or study purposes. Moreover, 89 countries (47 percent of the total surveyed) do not explicitly allow libraries to make copies for preservation purposes; and 85 of them (45 percent of the total) do not allow archives to make such copies.
- In countries where new anti-circumvention protections (technologies designed to restrict unauthorized access to protected works) have been introduced, while 52 countries have exempted libraries, around half of them have not. In practice, this means that where a technological protection measure is applied to digital content, libraries cannot circumvent it even to make use of an exception under copyright law, and therefore cannot copy the work concerned. In effect, the law is giving with one hand, and taking away with the other.
- Data obtained from the British Library under a Freedom of Information request show that the number of journal titles available under the INCD service fell by 93 percent, from 330,700 titles in 2011 to 23,600 in 2012. More titles “disappeared” than are available under the non-commercial licenses, and some 28,300 titles are no longer available either at commercial or non-commercial rates.
- In 2011, the Library provided information to libraries in 59 countries under the copyright-based service. By 2014 under the licensed service, the number of countries served had fallen to 33. The reduction in journal titles available to non-commercial users appears to be linked to the fact that the majority of titles are now only available at commercial rates.
- The number of requests the British Library was able to satisfy under its new scheme, in the first year of its service, fell by 92 percent, from 38,100 to 2,884. Whereas in 2011 the Library would have anticipated fulfilling over 100,000 requests for information during the period 2012-2104, by the end of 2014 the number had fallen to just 1,057, representing a year-onyear reduction of 97 percent. While the Library still has the documents, in many cases it is no longer able to provide them under the new licensing arrangement. In fact, in 2012 more requests for information were refused due to licensing restrictions (2,942) than were satisfied under the new licensing service (2,884).
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
A new international agreement would create a common global understanding that protects access to information as a public good through libraries and archives for the benefit of education, innovation and development. It would take into account the way technology is changing the way people seek information, and libraries and archives respond to those needs. It will enable libraries to negotiate fair terms for public and institutional needs – based on copyright law – to ensure equal access for all.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Country|
|Period of material under study:||2011-2014|