bookshelves-at-the-library.jpgI came across this fascinating snippet the other day, about how Polish libraries are preparing for new copyright laws which come into effect this month. From the summary:
“Major new provisions enabling digitization for socially beneficial purposes, such as education and preservation of cultural heritage, are the centrepiece for libraries of the new law.”
I love this! Digitization for culturally beneficial purposes and preservation of cultural heritage? I am all in for that! I think proper fair use provisions are vital to a healthy copyright reform in this day and age. My own country is getting a lot of stuff wrong on copyright these days, for example, sliding a music copyright extension into a budget bill so it passes without debate, and signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which unfairly lumps an extension to Life-Plus-70 in with negotiations on dairy exports and auto manufacturing.
But one thing they have done right is to defend fair use provisions for education. There is a rigorous use test which looks at six different factors to determine whether a use is infringing. This provides for a balanced system wherein use that is truly non-infringing may occur, but creators also get their fair due for works which need to be paid for.
Going forward, I would like to see any new legislation be similarly balanced. We do need to provide for creators to be fairly compensated for their work. But it should not be at the expense of reasonable and legitimate uses by society as a whole.
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