On July 19, 2004, the Commission of the European Communities released its Commission Staff Working Paper on copyright. Many provisions affect libraries - only those that specifically mention libraries are summarized here:
*The report recommends further consideration for library exceptions to the reproduction right under the copyright chapter of the Database Directive. [18.104.22.168.]
*In 2002, the Commission reported that Member States vary widely on the Public Lending Right. This report in 2004 says that infringement proceedings have been launched to remedy the most striking imbalances and the Commission will follow up to improve the level of harmonization. [22.214.171.124.] Note: Unlike U.S. law, European law provides royalty payments to authors when their books are borrowed from public libraries, called the Public Lending Right.
*The report observes that the role of libraries is undergoing profound changes due to technology. "Lending institutions should be continuously observed," but there is no need for immediate action. [126.96.36.199.]
Click below to read the actual text of these provisions.
From the July 19, 2004 Commission of the European Communities Commission Staff Working Paper on the review of the EC legal framework in the field of copyright and related rights:
188.8.131.52. Derogation from the public lending right
As indicated in the Report on Public Lending Right, only partial harmonisation of the public lending right has been achieved and the legislative measures applied by Member States still vary to a large extent, in particular as regards the application of the derogation contained in Article 5. It allows Member States to derogate from the exclusive public lending right provided that at least there is a right to remuneration for authors. To remedy at least the most striking imbalances of transposition, the Commission has already launched infringement proceedings against several Member States in breach of their obligations. The Commission will follow up on the infringement procedures with a view to improving the level of
Apart from the poor implementation record to which the Commission has reacted through proper proceedings, at present, there are no indications of a need to modify the provisions on the public lending right. The question of alignment with the new horizontal directive is not relevant with respect to the public lending right either. However, as the Commission has outlined in its Report on Public Lending Right, both the media market and the role of libraries are undergoing profound changes, as new services are being introduced with the help of digital technology. From these perspectives, the paper does not foresee a need for immediate action. However, the technological developments in the market place and the lending institutions should be continuously observed and examined.
184.108.40.206. Exception for the benefit of libraries
Libraries claim that there is a need to introduce a specific exception regarding acts of reproduction similar to Article 5(2)(c) of the Information Society Directive. In order to make sure that they could perform certain restricted acts e.g. for preservation purposes, they want to benefit from an exception under both regimes. Some products in digital or analogue form, which are currently used by libraries, may qualify as a database as well as a literary work of a different category. However, the need for a further exception to the reproduction right under the copyright chapter of the Database Directive for the benefit of libraries should be further considered.