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Copyright and the Public Domain Dr. Lucie Guibault EIFL Webinar 29 November 2012 Institute for Information Law.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright and the Public Domain Dr. Lucie Guibault EIFL Webinar 29 November 2012 Institute for Information Law."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copyright and the Public Domain Dr. Lucie Guibault EIFL Webinar 29 November 2012 Institute for Information Law

2 Content Definition of the Public Domain Importance of the Public Domain Threats to access and re-use of Public Domain material Possible solutions L. Guibault – Copyright and Public Domain2

3 3 Definition Structural Public Domain includes: Works of authorship where the copyright protection has expired Information that is not covered by copyright because not sufficiently original Voluntary commons and user privileges L. Guibault – Copyright and Public Domain

4 Importance of the Public Domain If I have seen further, it is by standing on shoulders of giants – Isaac Newton (1676) Access to the public domain fosters learning, innovation and creation of new works. L. Guibault – Copyright and Public Domain4

5 No need to seek permission for any uses of the work, so members of the public may freely use public domain works, not only for nonprofit educational and library purposes but also for research, scholarship and even to commercially exploit the work. L. Guibault – Copyright and Public Domain5

6 Threats to access and re-use… 1 / Term of protection Expansion of duration of protection From 50 years p.m.a. to 70 years p.m.a. or more! Lack of harmonization between countries L. Guibault – Copyright and Public Domain6

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8 Example: harmonization within the EU Despite the adoption of Directive 2006/116/EC, there is no effective harmonization of term within the EU. Ex.: Lithuania has – because of transitory provisions – a number of different terms of protection See: L. Guibault – Copyright and Public Domain8

9 Consequence of lack of harmonization Difficulty in calculating the term of protection Due to subsequent extensions – unclear transitory provisions Obstacles to cross-border access and re-use of PD works L. Guibault – Copyright and Public Domain9

10 Threats to access and re-use… 2 / Tendency to (re)appropriate digitized public domain works through techniques, contracts or other rights: Access/re-use encryption technology; Contractual clauses preventing re-use; Claim of other rights on digitized PD work (database right, new copyright, property right) L. Guibault – Copyright and Public Domain10

11 Possible solutions Reduce the term of protection (!!) Apply the principle that what is in the PD must remain in the PD Mark PD works as such: Ex: edm:rights Consider registration system Explore new ways to fund digitization efforts so that institutions are not tempted to (re)appropriate PD works L. Guibault – Copyright and Public Domain11

12 L. Guibault – Copyright and Public Domain12

13 L. Guibault – Copyright and Public Domain13


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