|Third UNESCO Congress on Ethical, Legal and
Societal Challenges of Cyberspace
|Live report |
Session III - The 'Fair use' concept in education, science, culture and communication - Tuesday, November 14 (AM)
The third working session of the Congress discussed on the morning of the second day of IFOethics 2000 the « Fair use » concept in education, science, culture and communication, under the chair of Yves Poullet, University of Naumur, Belgium
|Background Study "Copyright and Access to Information in the Digital Environment"
by Mireille Buydens, Séverine Dusollier, Yves Poullet
(Full text in RTF format)
Director, Harvard Information Infrastructure Projects, Harvard University, USA
Carlos M. Correa:
"It is essential to ensure that an appropriate "fair use" zone is preserved in the digital environment at both the national and international levels."
Different proposals have been made to restrict the "fair use" exception in a digital context. Digitization provides tools to detect private digital copying of a protected work and to limit it. This may allow title-holders to prevent practices that have been important for educational and scholarly purposes. Given the power conferred by the technology, "fair use" exceptions established by the law may become inapplicable and substantially affect access to information, particularly in developing countries. The protection of databases, as established or proposed in some jurisdictions, may aggravate this problem. The development of new principles for the application in this context of "fair use" needs to be considered, including possible approaches to deal, under special rules, with the case of developing countries. (Full text of speech)
"Limitations or exemptions of copyright are not 'exceptions', but important instruments in defining the delicate balance between copyright protection and user freedoms."
The limitations or exemptions of copyright are not 'exceptions', but important instruments in defining the delicate balance between copyright protection and user freedoms. In the digital networked environment, this balance is being redefined. Users are pressing for the preservation of copyright limitations in the digital environment ('what goes online, must go offline'). The copyright industries, on the other hand, argue that the digital environment favours transactional solutions (e.g. pay-per-use licenses), and that the need for statutory limitations will gradually disappear. Indeed, information providers increasingly resort to detailed standard-form ('click-wrap') licensing, thereby overruling existing copyright limitations. Moreover, technological protection schemes may effectively rule out the possibility of users to invoke exemptions. Should the legislature intervene to safeguard essential user freedoms? If so, is copyright law the appropriate vehicle? (PowerPoint presentation)
Herman P. Spruijt:
"If we want to secure the flow of information in the digital age, we need to invest in it and develop new infrastructure."
In his paper entitled "The Fair Use Concept in the Information Society", Spruijt examined the differences of digital publishing. In this context, contractual licencing is a sensible solution to differentiate terms and conditions. New information technology allows much easier that Information will be accessable to alland at an affordable price (through price differentiation). (PowerPoint presentation)
Session IV - Application of legal exemptions to copyright for developing countries (through International Conventions - Tuesday, November 14 (PM)
In the afternoon of Tuesday, 14 November, the fourth working session of INFOethics 2000, chaired by Mireille Buydens, from the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium), looked at the possibilities of the application of legal exemptions to copyright for developing countries (through International Conventions).
Moderator of the Fourth session
Professor in Law,
Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium
"Information which is essential for economic and socio-cultural development should have a broad area of fair use."
Euisun Yoo evaluated the validity of the 'fair use doctrine' in the information society. To this end, a legal and economic aspect of the doctrine he examined whether the current international intellectual property system works for balanced economic and socio-cultural development in the global marketplace. Based on the economic characteristics and types of information goods, he examined various specific criteria (such as specific classroom exemption, implied permission, interactive transmission rule, and market dynamics among players) to determine the appropriate level of protection for the copyrighted material. (Full text in RTF format)
"We need to begin to coordinate our interests and to work toward the common goal of protecting fair use and access to information."
According to Barry Steinhardt, the right to free speech is widely recognized as one of the most fundamental principles in a civil society. Over the past few years, various forces have pushed for measures to expand the rights of intellectual property holders at the expense of other speakers and listeners. Unfortunately, these ill-conceived measures have watered down time-honored standards that protected freedom of expression, including the doctrine of fair use, as Steinhadrt stated in his paper. Fair use should not be unduly limited on the pretext of preventing illicit traffic of intellectual property. Fair use should be applied to the electronic world to the same extent as with other media. No special intellectual property regimes or "conditions" should be imposed for information in electronic media. (Full text in RTF format)
"Only a well developed, internationally harmonized legal system can constitute the balance required between the interests of users and of authors."
Andras Szinger focused on the latest Hungarian legal regulations from the aspect of the needs of the information society, and in particular the Internet. The new Hungarian copyright act - based on recent international legislation regarding copyright in the Information Society - regulates free uses of authors' works as limitations of copyright. According to the provisions of the act copying the work for private, educational or scientific purposes is considered to be a free use of the work, which may happen without permission from the author or paying royalty. Temporary (digital) reproduction also falls in the scope of free use on some conditions. These legal exceptions - based on the fair use-concept - are limitations of the author's exclusive rights in order to maintain a balanced regulation between the interest of authors and users of their works. (Full text in RTF format) (PowerPoint presentation)
"We need to think about ways to subsidize this access to information which at the moment rests on the shoulders of rights holders."
Brian Wafawarowa said that there is dire need for information in the developing world, particularly in crucial areas like the education, medicine and legal and human rights sector. The need for a special approach to this problem is not a subject for debate, but the nature of the solution is. His intervention critically looked at the application of legal exceptions and weighed it against some of the objectives of the conference. He briefly placeed the solutions in the information context of the developing world and asked whether the application of legal exceptions is a plausible solution before suggesting the way forward. (Full text in RTF format)
Sun 12 - Mon 13 - Tues 14 - Wed 15