KEI intervention on preservation exceptions at WIPO SCCR 30

This was the KEI intervention at SCCR 30 on the topic of preservation exceptions for libraries and archives.

Preservation is obviously important for everyone, and archiving in general is both a local benefit and to some degree, a global public good.

We want works preserved, and copyright and trade negotiators to sort out the issues regarding access, which will often be context specific.

Every country’s copyright laws should have as a minimum an exception for preservation.

Preservation is part of a package of exceptions relating to archiving and preservation that should move forward as one possible early deliverable on a broader work-program on minimum exceptions in copyright, even if not all issues regarding exceptions are appropriate for harmonization on minimum standards, now. There may be more common ground on preservation than on any other issue.

Preservation also involves such issues of exceptions to TPMs, and the importance of the exceptions not only to copyright, but also for related rights, if any, in national laws.

The archives of Wikileaks remind us that often knowledge about one’s country may reside in the documents from another country.

In our opinion, topic number 1 could go further in terms of its conclusions. Rather than saying such exceptions “may be allowed” which is obvious in light on state practice, the conclusion should say that countries “should” have such exceptions, and that there would be value in an international instrument which states that such exceptions “shall” be in national laws.