Library associations voice concerns with TPP
Dear friends and colleagues,
Please find below a statement by the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA), representing 450 public, educational, commercial, industrial, legal, health and government libraries in New Zealand, voicing concern over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement.
In addition to the secrecy in which the Agreement is being negotiated between the New Zealand government and eight other countries – including the United States and Malaysia – LIANZA criticised also the substantial changes planned by way of the TPP to New Zealand’s copyright and other intellectual property legislation that it warned may have a serious impact on New Zealand’s libraries as well as its education, scholarship and research, in general.
The proposed changes include:
An extension of the duration of copyright beyond the present 50 years after the death of the author, which would impact on, among others, library digitisation programmes; lead to the removal of public access to works already digitised; restrict the re-use of currently out-of-copyright works; impede research; and impact on educational courses and research;
A re-introduction of a ban on parallel importation, resulting in a price hike of library materials, reduced access to specialist library supplies; and the purchase of fewer works by libraries;
Effective prevention of libraries from legitimately overriding technological protection measures (TPMs) to make materials available to their users, as permitted by current New Zealand copyright law.
It should be noted that while LIANZA describes the above as changes that are merely “rumoured”, the leaked US proposal for the intellectual property chapter of the TPP confirms that such changes may be included in the TPP (if the US proposals are accepted by the other TPP countries). Please see http://keionline.org/sites/default/files/tpp-10feb2011-us-text-ipr-chapter.pdf
In addition, a statement by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions highlights that the leaked IP chapter proposed by the US does not reflect “the balance necessary to protect the public domain and the ways in which society may access and use content.” That statement can be found at http://www.ifla.org/en/publications/library-statement-on-trans-pacific-partnership-agreement-negotiations.
With best wishes,
LIANZA Fears Copyright Law Changes Under TPPA
5 Jul 12
The Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) is concerned at the possible implications for New Zealand libraries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) currently being negotiated between New Zealand and a number of other countries, including the United States.
The Agreement is being negotiated in secret in the United States, so it is not possible for anyone not directly involved in the negotiations to know what is being proposed or what will be included in the final Agreement. Libraries and other affected organisations have no opportunity to contribute to the negotiations, or comment on proposals and their likely implications.
Tony Millett, Chair of LIANZA’s Copyright Committee, said that, because of the secrecy surrounding the negotiations, libraries and other organisations are confronted by rumours, fed by unofficial leaks.
“It is known that the draft Agreement includes a substantial section on intellectual property. LIANZA fears that substantial changes will be made to copyright and other IP legislation, not because such changes are necessarily supported by the New Zealand Government, but in order to conform with the wishes of the American Government and American corporations, and in hope of thereby possibly obtaining greater access to American markets by New Zealand exporters sometime in the future”, said Mr Millett.
LIANZA is particularly concerned that the TPP Agreement may include changes to New Zealand copyright law which will have a serious impact on New Zealand libraries. Rumoured changes include:
An extension of the duration of copyright beyond the present 50 years after the death of the author. Such an extension will impact on library digitisation programmes; require the removal of public access to works already digitised; restrict the re-use of currently out-of-copyright works; impede research and scholarship which builds on older scholarship; increase the difficulty of tracing copyright owners; and impact on educational courses and research.
A re-introduction of a ban on parallel importation. This would result in a steep increase in the purchase prices of library materials and, because New Zealand distributors cannot efficiently handle the diversity of library supply requirements, slower speed of supply; the removal of access to services provided by overseas specialist library suppliers; and the purchase of fewer works by libraries.An increase in the protection given to TPMs (technological protection measures) on videos, DVDs etc, which will prevent libraries from legitimately overriding TPMs to make materials available to their users, as permitted by current New Zealand copyright law.
LIANZA does not believe that these or other proposed changes to New Zealand copyright and IP law have been justified, or cost-benefit studies of trade-offs been undertaken.
“There is no evidence that such changes will be in the best interests of New Zealand copyright owners, users of copyright works, libraries, educational, research and other institutions, and New Zealand society as a whole,” said Mr Millett.
LIANZA, the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) and library associations of a number of the countries participating in the TPP negotiations have released the attached statement which summarises their concerns at the way in which the current negotiations are being undertaken.
Mr Millett said that the signatories believe the negotiation of international IP and copyright standards should not take place behind closed doors, with no opportunity for input, advice and comment from affected stakeholders.
“LIANZA urges the New Zealand Government to ensure that open and informed debate takes place, and that the needs of New Zealand libraries and their users are fully taken into account in the present TPP negotiations.”
LIANZA represents 450 public, educational, commercial, industrial, legal, health and government libraries in New Zealand.