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Saturday, 14th March 2015

Global Library and Archives Community Welcomes New Report from United Nations Special Rapporteur on Copyright Policy and the Right to Science and Culture

Source: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutes (IFLA)

On Wednesday 11th March 2015 the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights presents a report to the 28th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva regarding copyright policy in the context of cultural rights. The international library and archive community welcomes the report that examines copyright from a critical but often neglected perspective: the human dimension.

“ The human rights perspective focuses attention on important themes that may be lost when copyright is treated primarily in terms of trade: the social function and human dimension of intellectual property, the public interests at stake, the importance of transparency and public participation in policymaking, the need to design copyright rules to genuinely benefit human authors, the importance of broad diffusion and cultural freedom, the importance of not-for- profit cultural production and innovation, and the special consideration for the impact of copyright law upon marginalised or vulnerable groups.”

We...support the view that the international copyright framework in the digital environment reflects an imbalance that favours the needs of industry over the public interest, and does not provide the necessary safeguards and support for the activities of not-for-profit cultural institutions, such as libraries and archives. We therefore commend the Special Rapporteur for focusing the report on the impact of copyright on the expanding opportunities for public participation in cultural life, as well as the need to protect authorship.

+ Direct link to document (PDF; 306 KB)

+ Report of Special Rapporteur (PDF; 405 KB)


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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »



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