SCCR 34 Chair’s proposal regarding the committee’s work on L&E and member states comments

SCCR 34 May 3. Chair’s proposal regarding the committee’s work on L&E and member states comments

In brief:

  • The Chair supports an update of the Crews Study
  • The Chair proposes a seminar or conference with multidisciplinary approach to L&Es in the digital environment (instead of separated “silos” such as are now L&Es for Libraries and Education
  • The Chair does not support the drafting of a model law on exceptions, but rather proposes to look at the development of benchmarks and principles “that’s will guide us and our domestic regulators to look at these issues”
  • Considering that the committee has not reached a consensus to engage in normative works, the Chair asks for comments regarding the previous chair charts and how to include it (or not) in future work.
>> CHAIR: Good afternoon. Welcome back from the coffee break. Before the coffee break this morning, we had a chance to hear views from members as well as from the NGOs on this item of the agenda relating to libraries and archives. I think the views, some of it were reiterated for what has been discussed, so I think there is a good chance for us to refresh our views and I think there are interesting new views relating to how the work can be carried on. For me, I thought it was interesting to see some comments from the floor that the cross border element of the limitations and exceptions is becoming more and more on the mind of you and stakeholders and also very interested to see that a number of Member States commented and observed that the impact of the L and Es cannot be addressed in isolation, but should be address in a more thematic fashion. Of course, the agenda items are divided into different types of exceptions and limitations, but I do think that in the real world out there, the points and observations made by others that these are connected is a fair point and I think that those are some of the take aways I had from this morning’s session.

With the comments and I think, of course, with the many, many documents and proposals made by members as well as formally and informally as well as the work of the Chair I want to focus a little bit on what can we do from now until the next SCCR/?

What can we do heading to the GA that would advance our work, bring value to our stakeholders out there, and also give a sense that the work of this committee and all of us can have a positive impact on the different, the lives of people and the lives of different institutions in the respective countries and around the world.

So with that, and with your indulgence, may I start the discussion and I said, I make these proposals in the spirit of asking for views and asking for reactions, and not with the spirit of trying to close off discussions, and what I hear and what I thought was some of the more fascinating suggestions was a couple of things.

So, first, I heard that a lot of commentary about, and praise for the Kenneth Crews report, and I’m wondering whether one of the things we could work was to update the Crews study. Now, the Crews study was done in 2015 that eens the work done by Mr. Crews was done over a period of time before that. Thing have been moving fast in this area. I think with the Marrakesh Treaty there has been renewed interest into how the corporate system can be, can also help create engagement of other stakeholders and help support the national and the other objectives that we all hold so dear to ourselves. So I’m wondering whether an updated study is needed. It will not require a lot of resources on our part. I think Mr. Crews has indicated interest on this so I think it is something that could be low hanging fruit but I would love to hear your views about that.

Other thing that plays into the themes of cross-border and none silo approach to L and Es, it’s better we could organize or ask the Secretariat to organize a seminar or Conference or some kind of event where researchers, academics, experts, people who are really deep and steeped into the details of these, of these areas and ask them to focus on and to talk about the cross-border impact of the L and Es and not just from a library, archives perspective, but from across the different agenda items.

In other words, across libraries, archives, museums, and even educational research institutions. Speaking personally as someone who is the regulator and who is leading copyright review in Singapore, we find when we engage with our stakeholders in our home country on this, there are a lot of similar issues. There are challenges relating to exhaustion of rights, challenges relating to different approaches to L and Es, challenges relating to one comment was to say that we don’t even know, we may not know enough about how the industry is shaped and how much, and what’s the nature of the industry, so I think that that’s another suggestion I would like to put before you for consideration.

Another thing that I thought is useful for consideration is to, is to not so much model laws but to look at whether we can develop benchmarks and principle that’s will guide us and our domestic regulators to look at these issues. I think the couple of NGOs mentioned model laws as a way of saying that eventually changes are best made when they enshrine the law, but I believe that at the broader level, benchmarks, principles also equal. So that’s the third thing I would like to suggest as a possible, as a possible item.

The last one I heard a couple of comments about whether it had time for the informal chart done by the Chair to move into another place. On that piece, I would love to hear views, I am your good hands on whether that’s possible at this point of time, and I also note that I think we have been seeing comments both privately as well as publicly that maybe not all of the elements in the chart are, need to be at the same level of priority. So maybe I could ask for members to start the ball rolling with some of these. And bearing in mind that as we discuss specific work items, of course, the issue and the elephant in the room is whether we can move to a normative agenda on these issues.

As with other sessions, I think that the topic is still frankly speaking quite far from a consensus, there are very passionately held views either way and I think we can continue and none of these specific programs will prejudice or prejudge our discussions as to whether we should indeed move towards that, but in the interest of focusing ourselves on what can be done in a more immediate in the next few weeks, next few months, perhaps your views on the specific work items, any other work items that you think are useful would be very welcome.

I would like to say that the views that we marshall and that we gather from now until lunch time will help me to talk to your, help me when I meet with the regional coordinators at 2:30. I know there are other things on the agenda at that time. Also get a sense as to whether for you as members, for you as different groups, whether you have a certain appetite for certain types of work. So with that I would like to open to the floor for comments and ask that you speak to, speak to this part of the discussions.

>> SENEGAL: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Yet once more, we wish to express our gratitude to you for the good guidance you have just given us. I think that those indications certainly can clarify the path ahead for our work as was stated at opening of the session when we heard the declaration and as we were reminded this morning, the African Group is in favor of having an international legal instrument irrespective of its form concerning exceptions and limitations. From that viewpoint, we feel that the initial guidance given, for instance, the seminar will need to take account of the latest changes that have taken place in connection with copyright and the impact of those changes on the process.

We would be in favor of more information, of a document from the committee which subsequently can lead to a standard setting activity. So that is our position. And we repeat it in connection with our groups’ stance. Thank you.


>> With regard to your question about the equality of the informative table of the Chairman, we have heard comment from observers and delegations that this document could be a document adopted by the committee as a working document. It seems to us that hearing the different views from delegations, some of those are looking for binding instrument, others are looking at another way of approaching this issue based on national experiences. So this would in fact be a good basis for future wor., bearing in mind that amongst your proposal is also the possible development of benchmarks and principles. We think that this table could be a gl R good basis for this work. We think that can could be a living document which would not prejudice the positions of delegations and if not this clarification could be made in the very same document itself.

But that would not affect the fact that we have done something concrete. We have done a lot of work in this committee and unless we come up with a document on which we can continue to work, then we will have spent our time in many long discussions which might be quite interesting to listen to from an audio point of view but quite complicated. So, therefore, we support this proposal and perhaps we could refer to the document saying that it does not preempt or prejudge the positions of delegations and through this we could try to accommodate the whole committee. Thank you.

>> CHAIR: I thank the delegate from Chile.. Indeed, the document does in painstaking detail clarify that it’s not to guide the discussion towards any particular, and I’m quoting from the document, to lead to a better understanding of the topics and their actual relevance of discussions and intent and outcome.

The point, and I’m being blunt here, that we do need to show our General Assembly that the work of this committee has led to and can be in a way concretized, I think that’s important. We have done a lot of work. I think members of the committee, you come here or you take away time from our other work in Geneva to spend five days here in deliberations and beyond those five days there is a lot of internal consultations there, is a lot of work that is intersessional, and I do view that as your Chair if we do not have anything to show for that, it is a pity somewhat and so in that, from that angle, I do think that the comments of the delegate from Chile resonates with me.

I don’t see any other — I’m sorry, the delegate from the United States of America, you have the floor.

>> UNITED STATES: Thank you, Mr. Chair. Our delegation still has not had a chance to consult internally, so these are preliminary actions. We have done a little polling. So a preliminary reaction number one, we favorably note the suggestion to update the Crews study. It’s been a valuable study in the past. He is an outstanding scholar. Developments are rapidly changing, so we think that would be a useful approach.

We did take note of the development of principles. I think you also used the word benchmarks. We found that perhaps on an initial reading, a little bit prescriptive and preferably the phrasing of the principles and objectives approach, but we would be favorably disposed to that. We note that there are already principles embodied not only in our document, but also in the chart as well so we agree.

We have a great deal to draw from. In terms of achievements of this committee, I think that the outgoing Chair already noted that the chart itself was an interim outcome, and I think we can take a great deal of pride in that. We are still considering the possibility of moving the chart into a committee document, but we are not totally persuaded at this point that that’s a necessary step. Indeed the chart is going to be available to us, and we would continue to draw from it as an accomplishment, but as I say, we will continue to contemplate that. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

>> BRAZIL: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. With regard to your suggestions and comments, Brazil supports the idea of updating professor Crews’ study. We think this would be very useful. We agree with the suggestion of a seminar, and we take note of the comments by Chile and the U.S. and we agree that there is a variety of national approaches to this whole issue of limitations and exceptions to libraries and archives, and between the two of us, Mr. Chairman, no one is listening, our own law is not a great example of what we are looking forward here to achieving.

But anyway, we feel that there should be some minimum standards agreed, some minimum standards between all delegations, otherwise the whole concept of cross-border would be meaningless. That’s it. With regard to the rest, I think there is much to consider in what the U.S. just said and Chile as well. Thank you.

>> ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN: Iran thank you, Mr. Chair. Mr. Chair, this agenda item is on the table in the SCCR/ since the few past years and so much work has been done during the past year with regard to the topic. We have a study and we have no problem to update a version of the study to have a seminar, but bear in mind the mandate that has been given to the committee, we are of the view that it’s the time to reach an agreement with regard to the future work plan for this agenda item. We are mandated to work toward a legal instrument, and in our view, it’s the time to think about how we are going to work on this agenda item forward as some kind of the norm setting process.

As our dear delegate from Nigeria expressed well, this session of the committee can be a turning point with regard to the exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives and we need to reach an agreement for the future. Thank you.

>> EUROPEAN UNION: Thank you, Chairman. Like many other delegations that spoke before us, we would like to commend you for your propose apples and the way forward in relation to actually commenting on the substance of those suggestions other than being able to agree on the updating of the Crews study, we would like to further time to be able to consider your proposals and so look for your guidance on that point. Thank you.

>> CHAIR: I thank the delegate from the E.U. and, of course, as I say it right, the proposals were meant to get everyone thinking a bit about it, and have the process where you talk to your regional coordinators or you talk about what you think and how the reaction should be lik. So I now call upon the delegate from Canada.

>> CANADA: Thank you, Mr. Chair. Canada would support the updating of the Crews study and we believe this would be helpful for the committee, and Canada does wonder if it may be appropriate and helpful to update the study on limitations and excesses for museums as well. Thank you.

Chair: I thank the delegate from Canada for his suggestions. At this point in time I see no other delegates wishing to speak, and given that we are near lunch time, I think that now is an opportune moment for me to say that discussions here have been interesting and I appreciate the candor and the passion of which delegates have been speaking. The suggestions as pointed out by a couple of delegates need to be chewed upon over some time. I will speak to the regional coordinators, touch upon this a little bit, and I encourage you to have those conversations and with two things in mind, one is that we do need to continue our work in some way, and we do need to approach that in a way that is, that does not prejudge and does not detract from the discussions, the bigger discussions whether normative instrument is needed but we do need to do things which are practical, which are able to assure that this committee, while discussing that can also multitask and do and have a practical work programme.

I also ask that some of the work that’s done in the past, right, and how can we reflect that. I hear the views of the U.S. and a couple of others that you are thinking about this, but I urge you to consider that issue that we should find some way to reflect our work, and so, again, I’m cognizant about reporting to the General Assembly in a way that allows them to know that this is hard work and it’s been encapsulated in some way.