..."Lo que os puedo dar os doy, que es una ínsula hecha y derecha, redonda y bien proporcionada..."
"Don Quijote de la Mancha". Capítulo XLII: " De los consejos que dió Don
Quijote a Sancho Panza antes que fuese a gobernar la ínsula..."

ISSN: 1810-4479
Publicación Semanal. Año 3, Nro.138, Viernes, 25 de agosto del 2006

Libro de visitas

 

Estimados colegas,

Abajo encontraran un breve extracto sobre el papel negativo que juega el copyright contra la producción, acopio, distribución, acceso y uso de la información documental y el conocimiento en general y en las bibliotecas en particular. Forma parte del libro:

EL DOSSIER COPIA/SUR: Asuntos en disputa sobre economía, política e
ideología de los derechos de autor en el Sur Global.
(THE COPY/SOUTH DOSSIER: Issues in the economics, politics, and ideology
of copyright in the global South)

Escrito y publicado por el Grupo de Investigacion Copia/Sur compuesto por academicos/activistas criticos principalmente de paises del Sur:

Alan Story (Reino Unido), Colin Darch (Sudafrica), Debora Halbert (EE.UU.) , Adam Mannan (Reino Unido), Akalemwa Ngenda (Zambia), Beatriz Busaniche (Argentina), Denise Nicholson (Sudafrica), Federico Heinz (Argentina), Jennifer de Beer (Sudafrica), Norah Mugambi (Kenya), Joost Smiers (Holanda), Jose Antonio Torres Reyes (Mexico), Juan Publio Triana Cordovi (Cuba), Lawrence Liang (India ), Maud Stephan (Libano), Roberto Verzola (Filipinas), Ronaldo Lemos (Brasil), Shishir Kumar Jha (India), Zapopan Martin Muela-Meza (Mexico), Carlos Affonso Pereira de Souza (Brasil), Papa Toumane Ndiaye (Senegal), Majid Yar (Reino Unido), y Teresa Hackett (Irlanda).

Editores:

Alan Story (Reino Unido), Colin Darch (Sudafrica), Debora Halbert (EE.UU.) Canterbury, Kent, Reino Unido: The Copy/South Research Group (El Grupo de Investigacion Copia/Sur), 2006, pp. 209, ilustrado.

ISBN (edicion gratuita impresa): 978-0-9553140-1-8 (edicion descargable gratuita en linea): 978-0-9553140-0-1.

Los bibliotecarios en general, en su mayoria, estan muy preocupados por el copyright (que lisa y llanamente significa, usurpacion por terceros, en su mayoria mega corporaciones editoriales, de los derechos morales de los autores para usufructuarlos comercialmente, dandoles una migaja de regalias a dichos autores morales, y en la mayoria de las veces nada cuando son cientificos o investigadores de instituciones publicas, estatales). Pero lo estan no tanto para hacerle un frente, bibliotecario, y cumplir con sus roles sociales de bibliotecarios, estos de dar acceso gratuito, irrestricto, libre, procomunal a la informacion, al conocimiento, sino para adherirse a sus absurdos juridicos los mismos que ni han leido y que ni entienden, maxime si en sus bibliotecas existen cuerpos juridicos, deptos. juridicos o abogados que "se encargan que las bibliotecas respeten las leyes." Y la gran mayoria de los bibliotecarios, defensores del copyright, lo defienden incluso tan ciega y fanaticamente como si fueran policias, como si su papel fuese el de ser policias caza delinquentes o protectores del orden publico o represores del publico.

Hay muchas pruebas por doquier de como los bibliotecarios ignoran casi todo sobre el copyright o como estan traicionando sus principios eticos de ser bibliotecarios para convertirse en policias de la informacion y el conocimiento como si mas de 7 mil a�os donde las clases dominadas hasta con cadenas y arsenico han privado a las masas del publico a su acceso y uso. Por ejemplo en una lista de bibliotecarios de Costa Rica se organizo una videoconferencia sobre el copyright que impartiria un "experto" por parte de la Biblioteca del Congreso, un abogado. Esta la organizo la Embajada de los EE.UU. en ese pais. Luego la bibliotecaria de dicha embajada les compartio a los colegas "un gran manual" de iniciacion al respeto del copyright made in U.S.A. Y luego otros colegas le aplaudieron por ilustrarlos con dicho manual policiaco para el respeto del copyright.

Para el conocimiento de mis colegas, tomar la legislacion de copyright u otras de apropiamiento general del intelecto humano made in U.S.A. es el peor ejemplo tanto para los EE.UU. como para el resto del planeta. Y lo peor del asunto es que ademas tomar el peor y mas retrograda ejemplo sobre la faz de la tierra, ademas le hagan fiesta. Fiesta de que o por que? De ver como las nuevas tecnologias que por ejemplo favorecen una socializacion ubicua de la informacion y el conocimiento (veanse todas las redes Par a Par, P2P... AresGalaxy, LimeWire, Kazaa, etc.) han sido desterradas de todas las bibliotecas de los EE.UU? De ver como incluso la red bibliotecaria Amicus basada den P2P tambien ha sido demandada por los amos del copyright? De ver como todas las grandes e inovadoras iniciativas hacia el progreso de socializar la informacion y hacerla asequible a todo el mundo mediante las tecnologias son denunciadas, enjuciadas --vease Google Book, Gutenberg Project, la directiva 1992 europea o el canon, etc.-- y hasta enviadas a la carcel por los abogados de la Policia del Pensamiento del Copyright y su increiblemente inmensa mayoria de bibliotecarios seguidores ciegos y hasta fanaticos del orbe?

Por fortuna estas nefastas politicas publicas, que en toda la historia humana y especialmente desde la escrita han detentado los monopolios de todo incluyendo de decidir como mantener estupidizada e imbecilizada a la humanidad con el poder monopolico que detentan, han detentado de la informacion y el conocimiento, siempre han encontrado una fiera resistencia.

Si la etica bibliotecaria consiste en acopiar, preservar y diseminar libre, gratuita, procomunal, irrestricta y universalmente la memoria humana escrita o encriptada en cualesquiera materiales fisicos, entonces sus cientificos y practicantes no solamente deben seguir como seguidores de Hammelin, sino deben velar por ellos y sus comunidades de usuarios y porque los marcos legales se ajusten a dicha etica, y si estos no lo hacen, entonces deben luchar sin descanso para garantizarle a la humanidad que aquellos se adapten a su etica. Cuando la revolucion de Gutenberg rompio el monopolio de la escritura, reproduccion y distribucion de la informacion-conocimiento monastico, el germen de los hoy Policias del Intelecto via el Copyright no se hizo esperar; asi surgio el copyright. Las clases dominantes aceptaron la inovacion tecnologica, pero inventaron como siempre, sus clasicas estupideces leguleyas para precisamente detener la inovacion tecnologica: "si, querido Gutenbergsito, aceptamos tu imprenta de tipos moviles metalicos, pero nosotros controlaremos toda la producion y reproduccion de las publicaciones y de las imprentas mismas, desde hoy instauraremos una ley donde los editores, que ahora seremos nosotros, detentaremos el 99 por ciento de las ganancias obtenidas por las publicaciones, ademas del impuesto por derecho de uso que impone el Estado." Y asi surgio el copyright que tanto le aplauden y hacen fiesta mas del 90 por ciento de los bibliotecarios del planeta.

Obviamente, nosotros, en el Grupo de Investigacion Copia/Sur --donde al menos 5 miembros somos bibliotecarios, sostenemos que los bibliotecarios no tienen ningun deber moral de ser policias de los derechos de autor. La etica bibliotecaria, al menos en principio, establece que los bibliotecarios estamos para ser el puente que une libre, abierta, gratuita, y procomunalmente a los usuarios con el mundo de informacion documental.

Por otro lado, el Diccionario de la Real Academia Espa�ola define asi a la "policia:"

"policia. (Del lat. politīa, y este del gr. πολιτεὕα). 1. f. Cuerpo encargado de velar por el mantenimiento del orden p�blico y la seguridad de los ciudadanos, a las �rdenes de las autoridades pol�ticas. ORTOGR. Escr. con may. inicial. 2. f. Buen orden que se observa y guarda en las ciudades y rep�blicas, cumpli�ndose las leyes u ordenanzas establecidas para su mejor gobierno."

Ciertamente los bibliotecarios y usuarios en tanto ciudadanos tambien deben cumplir las leyes y ordenanzas del gobierno. Sin embargo, �cual deberia ser el proceder de los bibliotecarios cuando son precisamente las leyes u ordenanzas de orden internacional (como WIPO-OMPI de la ONU) o del apropiamiento y usurpamiento del intelecto social general a todos los diferentes niveles de gobierno en cada pais las que precisamente impiden que los bibliotecarios cumplan con su etica social y los usuarios puedan accesar informacion documental como un derecho humano universal para satisfacer cualesquiera que sean sus necesidades informativo-documentales? Asi, en el Grupo internacional de Investigacion Copia/Sur (y quien esto escribe a titulo personal) creemos que por ningun motivo los bibliotecarios deben traicionar sus principios eticos fundamentales y aceptar docil, y postradamente leyes y ordenanzas felonas como las del copyright emitidas por los paises creadores de la WIPO-OMPI en la ONU y seguidas felizmente por sus consortes en todo el resto del mundo incluidas organizaciones como la misma IFLA, la mayoria de asociaciones bibliotecarias nacionales y escuelas bibliotecologicas y documentalistas.

Cuando los bibliotecarios cancelen para siempre los servicios reprograficos para papel y multimedios digitales y asuman el papel de policias en sus instituciones de informacion documental criminalizando a los usuarios que "rompan" las leyes felonas anti-humanas de apropiamiento intelectual, entonces sera el momento que mejor deberian abandonar su oficio de bibliotecarios, la profesion bibliotecologica y mejor deberian encuadrarse en los cuerpos de policia, donde su honorable labor iria mas a tono con su etica policiaca. Los bibliotecarios no tienen ninguna obligacion ni responsabilidad de proteger la eufemistamente llamada Propiedad Intelectual, artilugio que en realidad significa usurpacion, expoliacion de la creatividad humana general universal por parte de los capitalistas de las industrias editoriales y de la informacion/conocimiento. Los bibliotecarios no tienen ninguna obligacion ni compromiso de proteger el copyright. Los bibliotecarios tampoco tienen ninguna obligacion ni compromiso de rendirle pleitesia a los autores cuyas obras abarrotan sus estantes. El compromiso y obligacion de los bibliotecarios entre muchos matices y parafraseando a Maximo Gorki de La madre es "quitarle las vendas que le atan la razon al pueblo trabajador," coadyuvar junto con las escuelas y otras instituciones a quitarle la estupidez y la ignorancia a la humanidad mediante el suministro de un acceso gratuito, libre, irrestricto, procomunal y universal de los materiales informacionales documentales que esta requiera o que mediante investigaciones de campo en sus comunidades, colonias y barrios los bibliotecarios determine que necesitaria. Los bibliotecarios, si acaso se podrian solidarizarse en la lucha de los autores a que se les respeten sus derechos humanos de autoria moral, pero, parafraseando a la bibliotecaria española Blanca Calvo, "cuando hemos visto que los autores compartan sus regalias con las bibliotecas y los bibliotecarios cuando son estos ultimos los que como parte de sus funciones seleccionan, clasifican y catalogan, circulan y sobre todo promocionan en todo el mundo cientos, miles y millones de obras de tales autores?" Ella misma agrega que si a las bibliotecas les deben imponer mas impuestos como el canon de la Directiva Europea 1992 por cobro por prestamo en bibliotecas, entonces que "los autores y editores deberian pagarles regalias a los bibliotecarios por concepto de promocion, difusion y prestamos de sus obras." Los bibliotecarios debemos desafiar tambien incluso la misma idea que todo autor se las atribuye como de sacrosantas y hasta se imbuyen en baños ungidos de "seres unicos e iluminados", a esto el cientifico radical australiano Brian Martin (en su obra Information Liberation: Challenging the corruptions of information power) les responde "no hay ningun autor que haga sus obras en el vacio, todos le deben a sus predecesores de toda la historia de la humanidad." El "pisar sobre los hombros de gigantes" que se le atribuye a Newton. Como vemos en general los bibliotecarios no tenemos tampoco obligacion o compromiso con los autores en tanto en la busqueda de la grandeza de su ego, egolatria o megalomania personal --sean los mismos bibliotecarios autores de obras--, bibliotecologicamente hablando ya tenemos per se un ingente e historico compromiso de seleccionar, adquirir, organizar y distribuir aquellas de sus obras que consideremos pertinentes para nuestras colecciones --excluyendo la siempre in crescendo basura-- y esto lo hacemos por los mismos miseros salarios de hambre que percibimos, como para todavia ademas tener que unirnos a su egoista e individualista labor de hacerles el caldo gordo, de ayudarles a que obtengan mas regalias los autores, o ganancias los capitalistas editores.

Estos y muchos asuntos candentes mas son los que un grupo de escasos 5 bibliotecarios criticos --y algunos otros que fueron tambien invitados, pero que desgracidamente no pudieron sumarse a este esfuerzo inicial, pero que lo pueden hacer en cualquier momento-- junto a otros colegas del derecho, sociologia, computacion del software libre, comprometidos politica y socialmente con nuestras profesiones, nos comprometimos sin ambajes criticar y desafiar.

Este primer libro, esfuerzo de trabajo colectivo critico y hasta radical, no es un libro de un experto como los de los "sabios" policias de WIPO o de la Biblioteca del Congreso de los EE.UU. como los que circulan en la lista costarricence de la embajada estounidense. Tampoco de "gurus" individuales al estilo Lessig. No, es un modesto esfuerzo colectivo para incentivar la critica y el debate sobre el papel nefasto que juega el copyright para la humanidad. Y sobre todo es ademas una guia para la accion, para resistir los embates de los amos del copyright y sus instituciones madre: OMPI-ONU y su progenie sin escrupulos que se afanan en llevar su evangelio a todo el planeta: IFLA, asociaciones nacionales de bibliotecarios, editores, autores, y otros.

Para descargarlo gratuitamente y sin restricciones de copyright ir al sitio del Grupo de Investigacion Copia/Sur: <http://www.copysouth.org/>

Si requieren un ejemplar impreso y encuadernado (que ademas incluye todos los posters que se muestran en el sitio) enviarnos su solicitud a: <contact@copysouth.org> para enviarle una copia a su domicilio postal (aunque descargarlo via la Web nos ahorraria recursos).

Y en el caso de que estuviese interesado en este debate, o escribir algun comentario del Dossier en algun periodico o revista, o incluso mejor aun en colaborar con el grupo, pueden comunicarse en ingles a: <contact@copysouth.org> o en español con un servidor, <zapopanmuela@yahoo.com>.

Finalmente, se les agradeceria que descargen el libro y lo redistribuyan mediante cualquier medio mecanico, electronico, atomico, subatomico, nanotecnologico, terrestre o extraterrestre sin la mas minima restriccion, solo con el pequeño detalle de informarnos donde se han publicado comentarios o resumenes o colgado en blogs o paginas Web.

Gracias por su atencion y colaboracion.

Un nuevo fantasma recorre el mundo, los bibliotecarios criticos contra el copyright! Bibliotecarios del mundo, contra el copyright!

Por una humanidad socializada Por una sociedad humanizada

Zapopan Martín Muela-Meza Coord. de Relaciones Publicas El Grupo de Investigacion Copia/Sur The Copy/South Research Group <http://www.copysouth.org> ----------------- Extracto en ingles del Dossier Copia/Sur, de las paginas: 100-9 Nota Bene: una traduccion completa al español esta siendo realizada gratuita y voluntariamente por varios colegas de Venezuela y estara completa en los proximos meses, tengan paciencia, y si alguien que se bilingue y dispone de tiempo y se quiere sumar al equipo de traduccion comuniquese conmigo (el trabajo debera ser gratuito y voluntario):

4.4 How copyright hinders librarians in providing services to library users

Copyright and intellectual property protection impinges in different ways on the practices of librarians as individual professionals, on libraries as institutions of various kinds (public, commercial, and academic), on the professional organizations of library workers, and to some extent on �librarianship� as an idealised amalgamation of all of the above. This is almost always in respect of patrimonial or economic rights, and usually has little or nothing to do with moral rights, either in law or principle. To the extent that such protection limits or inhibits them from providing service to users, some librarians, especially in countries of the South, have begun to express a not fully articulated uneasiness with the way that the copyright regime appears to favour the commercial interests of publishers over a hypothetical �right to knowledge�. In this section of the dossier we will examine the hidden assumption that library collections harm publishing, the idea that librarians have a moral duty to police copyright compliance among users, the impact on libraries of multiple layers of protection for digital content, and whether the librarian�s first duty is to the library user.

Libraries and Public Lending Right

At least some publishers and booksellers have always believed that the �free� availability of their books in libraries constitutes a threat to their commercial interests, and is likely to harm sales. Logically enough, those who hold this belief are willing to use copyright law and any other available mechanisms (see below) to protect their perceived interests and to recover what they see as lost revenue, even if this could mean that libraries might not function as well as they would otherwise do. Two centuries ago, when the first �circulating libraries� (the precursors of today�s public libraries) were established, the London bookseller James Lackington (1746-1815) argued against this perspective, writing that:

When circulating libraries were first opened, the booksellers were much alarmed, and their rapid increase, added to their fears, had led them to think that the sale of books would be much diminished by such libraries.

However, Lackington continued, the availability of books in the circulating libraries actually had the opposite effect:

[�] experience has proved that the sale of books, so far from being diminished by [libraries], has been greatly promoted, as from those repositories many thousand families have been cheaply supplied with books, by which the taste of reading has become much more general, and thousands of books are purchased every year by such as have first borrowed them at those libraries, and after reading, approving of them, become purchasers.

It is unclear whether Lackington�s optimistic conclusion was supported by any empirical evidence at the time, but it is certain that in the two hundred years since he wrote, publishers, booksellers and librarians have existed in uneasy symbiosis, at least as far as intellectual property rights are concerned. This is primarily because their interests sometimes clash: publishers and booksellers are in the business of selling as many books as possible in order to make a profit, while librarians are in the business of meeting the information needs of their users.

In fact, Lackington�s argument has been ignored in modern practice, most especially and specifically by the introduction in many countries of Public Lending Right (PLR), which, admittedly, is aimed at helping authors rather than vendors. It is hard to argue against the proposition that by introducing what is effectively a low level tax on the borrowing of books from libraries the state is able to redistribute some revenue to those authors whose books are actually read. Such a proposition appeals to most people�s sense of natural justice. Whether the author in question is a best seller like J. K. Rowling or a struggling Grub Street hack has no bearing on the issue. Naturally enough, in those mainly developed countries where writers� organisations exist, such bodies are noisily in favour of PLR � it delivers cash to members and shows that the organisation has actually achieved something concrete in their interests.

The problem, however, is that the principle underlying PLR is both muddled and also has far-reaching implications. First, the unexamined assumption is that the existence of public libraries does in fact actually harm book sales. The counter argument, of course, is that without public (and other) libraries many published works would scarcely sell a single copy. Like the argument about music downloading through Napster, it is extraordinarily difficult to prove the first part of the case either way, since it rests on the extremely shaky supposition that a book borrowed (or a song downloaded) is equivalent in some linear way to a book not purchased (or a CD not bought).

The second assumption underlying the PLR is that second or third or fourth readers of a book are also in some way depriving an author of sales (the first borrower is presumably covered by the fact that the library did pay for the copy), and that the author must therefore be compensated. This is as shaky a proposition as the other, and for the same reasons. Virtually any copy of any book ever bought that is worth reading has been read more than once, and by different people, within a family or among friends or colleagues, or by buyers of the copy second-hand. The suspicion is that if it were a practical proposition, some kind of tax would be introduced to cover this too, by analogy, and this suspicion is supported by experiments with formats for digital content that would allow access only a defined number of times (one viewing of a DVD, two readings of a text, three hearings of a musical piece: if you want to know what rights holders would like to do in the print environment, look to what they are doing in the digital one).

This matters, of course, because public libraries in practice support popular education in both a formal and an informal sense, and the more expensive they become to run, the more likely they are to introduce access charges or membership fees (as is already the case in Johannesburg, South Africa, for instance). At the very least, books that might otherwise have been acquired are not obtained. Thus, the poorest citizens, those who are arguably most in need of library services, are excluded or are less able to satisfy their information needs.

Do Librarians have a Moral Duty to Police Copyright?

Many librarians worry about copyright issues mainly because they are frightened that either their institutions, or they themselves as individuals, may be held responsible for copyright infringements by library users, by aggressive and well-funded RROs or publishers. This fear has virtually nothing to do with offences against so-called moral rights (plagiarism, forgery, unauthorised publication) and almost everything to do with offences against patrimonial rights (photocopying or scanning of content beyond the limits allowed by fair use, fair dealing or local custom). Historically, it is a phenomenon of the age of reprography: before the advent of publicly available user-operated dry photocopying in the mid-1970s, libraries had little to worry about. However, photocopiers were followed by computers and the Internet, and now high quality scanners link the worlds of print and digital content, so that any user smart enough to push a green button can make a complete copy of anything at all in some unsupervised corner of the library.

The librarians� concerns are reflected in official statements by professional associations, such as the following extract from an IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) document published in August 2000:

Librarians and information professionals recognise, and are committed to support the needs of their patrons to gain access to copyright works and the information and ideas they contain. They also respect the needs of authors and copyright owners to obtain a fair economic return on their intellectual property. Effective access is essential in achieving copyright's objectives. IFLA supports balanced copyright law that promotes the advancement of society as a whole by giving strong and effective protection for the interests of rights-holders as well as reasonable access in order to encourage creativity, innovation, research, education and learning.

IFLA supports the effective enforcement of copyright and recognises that libraries have a crucial role to play in controlling as well as facilitating access to the increasing number of local and remote electronic information resources. Librarians and information professionals promote respect for copyright and actively defend copyright works against piracy, unfair use and unauthorised exploitation, in both the print and the digital environment. Libraries have long acknowledged that they have a role in informing and educating users about the importance of copyright law and in encouraging compliance.

The second paragraph of this statement is especially interesting, since it represents a strong _expression of what we might call the �policing role� position for librarians with regard to copyright and intellectual property rights. Libraries and librarians are presented as enforcers and controllers on behalf of the vendors and publishers whose economic interests are supposedly in play, as active defenders of those interests, as encouragers of compliance. What is missing is any justification or argument as to why libraries and librarians should take on such a role, especially if the law is vague or silent, and especially if the role requires them to act against the interests of their clients. This is not to suggest for a moment that librarians should become active violators of the law, of course, and they should be well enough informed to be able to advise their users on what is permitted and what is not.

We suggest, in fact, that the librarian�s first duty is to satisfy the user�s information needs (not necessarily the same as her information wants), and to do so within the law of the land. This does not imply, either directly or indirectly, any duty to defend the intellectual property rights of publishers or authors, who must look to their own interests in the matter. Indeed, in questions of fair use or fair dealing, it is clearly in the interests of users that librarians should advocate and �actively defend� as broad an interpretation of what is permitted as possible, rather than the narrower one normally favoured around the world in different jurisdictions by corporate rights holders. In the scale of such affairs, the duty of �librarianship� is clearly, in our view, to add weight to the side of the user to attain the famed �fair balance� of copyright discourse between creators and consumers of information.

Layers of protection of digital content

In libraries in those less developed countries with a modern ICT infrastructure, such as South Africa, Brazil or India, problems are increasingly arising from layers of intellectual property protection that are additional to copyright. These include the terms and conditions of the access contracts to the vendor�s databases (commonly called licences), as well as technological devices in both software and hardware, and new laws that criminalise any kind of circumvention of such devices (anti-circumvention laws). This problem affects all libraries all over the world, but the point is that it impacts on developing countries disproportionately, since they probably do not have funds available to pay extra licence fees, and may not have the capacity to negotiate better licence terms or indeed to lobby for better copyright laws.

Access licences, like most contracts, can be assumed to mean exactly what they say, no more and no less. Thus, access to a database of newspaper articles or academic journals does not confer upon the library permission to perform the same set of practices that would be possible with a printed set of the newspaper or the academic journal. Interlibrary loan may not be possible, for instance, and the access to the back set may disappear if the current subscription is discontinued. Indeed, if the back set goes far enough back, some rules may still be imposed even though the journal is in the public domain, i.e. out of copyright. In addition, digital formats change rapidly, and long term duration remains a major concern. The extreme convenience of digital access for authorised users in the short term is thus offset by a series of difficulties to which the solutions are as yet far from clear.

Technological protection and anti-circumvention law add yet another layer of protection to content and make the provision of library services difficult. Each database behaves differently, requires the user to learn a different set of protocols for access, searching and downloading, and imposes a different set of rules on what behaviours are permitted or forbidden. Librarians are responding by building portals with federated searching across multiple databases, and simple URL resolvers to allow seamless downloading of full text content from searches which produce metadata result lists. Nevertheless, in some academic libraries, for example, outside researchers who traditionally have been welcome to use print collections on payment of a nominal fee, are now formally excluded from access to all digital resources, mainly because it is too complicated to work out who might have access to what under which conditions, from the range of licence contracts.

In sum, attempts to co-opt librarians and information workers in defence of existing copyright regimes should be resisted, at the very least because such a role has the potential to clash with their primary duty to their clients. Second, it is clear that copyright rules often prevent users from easily or conveniently obtaining what they want or need, in the form they want, especially in poorer countries. That said, authors in particular have a legitimate interest in protecting their patrimonial rights from exploitation by libraries as much as from exploitation by corporations. The trick, as always, is to find a way of doing things that allows for free access, while at the same time allowing authors to benefit from their creative efforts. It is hard to see how the present globalising copyright regime, given current trends, could support such a happy outcome even in theory.

How copyright makes libraries less efficient: some examples

a) Academic journals

Most academics publish articles and books in order to enhance their reputations, persuade their colleagues that their arguments are correct, and to increase their chances of promotion or of obtaining a better position elsewhere. It is unusual for an academic to receive any direct payment or royalties for an article, and the amounts earned from the majority of academic books are negligible � most are published at a loss or subsidised.

Traditionally, an academic publishing a journal article is aiming for the widest dissemination of her ideas possible, and access to the complete scientific record is widely regarded as being fundamental to scientific method. That is how the system of distributing off-prints developed, as well as inter-library loan. Most academics are therefore mainly interested in so-called �moral rights� (being identified as the author, and not having the text altered), rather than in a revenue stream. Library networks and photocopy machines are fundamental in this process.

However, things are changing for the worse. Until the 1960s, academic journals were published mainly by learned societies. The takeover of academic journals by commercial publishers in the last half century has created a new and unsustainable model of scholarly communication. Commercial publishers charge high prices, and in the digital environment are able to do what they would like to do in the print environment, namely restrict the free transmission of information between individuals and institutions unless payments are made. This has an especially severe impact on libraries in developing countries, which cannot afford to pay $8 or $10 for a single article offprint.

Copyright and licence rules can thus increasingly be seen as preventing �learned men and women� from writing �learned books�, as the scientific record is privatized rather than socialised.

b) Photocopying and short loan services

A related problem exists at undergraduate level in academic libraries in developing countries, where home-made course-packs are commonly assembled by local lecturers for use as textbooks in local courses. Alternatively, lecturers may place multiple copies of texts in library short loan or reserve departments for student use. In middle income developing countries such as South Africa, however, institutions are coming under increasing pressure from local RRO�s to sign up on �blanket licences� for library-related photocopying activity, which are calculated at high pro rata rates and add significantly to the cost of higher education. Thus academic libraries end up paying fees for photocopies that, if they were made by individual students one by one, would certainly fall under the fair dealing or fair use exemptions that developed in the 1970s.

c) Libraries and the Internet

The Internet is a delivery mechanism for texts and information. Some documents are prepared and posted in formats such as the widely used proprietary Adobe PDF format or the generic Postscript format, that are clearly intended for print-out. Others, in HTML, may be transitory for one reason or another, that is to say, there may be good reason to suppose that a particular Website may not be permanently available.

However, librarians have learned caution in these matters. It may be unclear whether an author or publisher who posts a PDF text does in fact intend to allow a library to print it out and add a paper copy to the collections, especially when the item is also available through the conventional book trade. Even �ripping� and storing a Website that is about to disappear may in fact be illegal. Again, such activities cannot reasonably be argued to represent lost sales in most cases, especially in the developing world.

d) Access for the visually impaired

Only five percent of visually impaired people in the developing world have access to Braille materials. This can be partly explained by the fact that Braille materials are expensive, but in many jurisdictions copyright legislation further increases the cost of the materials, since permission is needed to transcribe copyrighted content into the format. The rights holder may legally charge a fee, adding to the costs, and perhaps making it completely unaffordable. He or she may even simply refuse permission. A library � even a library for the visually impaired � may not legally undertake such transcriptions without permission and payment. Although the United States and the United Kingdom have enacted legislation to allow copies for the visually impaired to be made without obtaining the permission of a rights holder, this issue remains a major problem in many countries around the world.

Libraries and copyright restrictions in the South: evidence submitted by librarians

Here are some examples of how copyright laws impact on public and university libraries in the South. The state sector is generally much smaller and less well-funded in countries of the South than that which exists in the North and, as a result, the imposition of stricter copyright laws often have an even more chilling effect on the use of and access to books and other library materials. Book purchasing budgets are also comparatively more constrained than in the North and the increasingly high cost of books often bites even harder. (Copyright laws give publishers the ability to limit access to cheaper alternatives, such as photocopying books.) In other countries of the South, librarians sometimes act as �copyright cops� and, because of the precarious financial position of many such libraries, are excessively worried by potential copyright violations.

1) Negotiating a better deal

Subscriptions to e-journals often do not allow a subscriber to keep copies of the issue they have paid for; rather, it is the subscription itself that permits access to the archives. So when you stop your subscription, there is nothing to show for what was paid for. This creates a dependency on the provider for many years. As one librarian explains, �when a library subscribes to a print journal and the subscription is cancelled, the publisher does not drive up to the library and take away the back issues in a big truck. This is effectively what happens when a subscription to an electronic journal expires.� The vendor licences that many universities are required to use allow the subscriber to save copies of the article; for each additional copy, you have to make a separate extra payment. If more than one copy is required, two different payments have to be made, regardless of whether it is for the same article. These agreements prohibit even making a photocopy of an article that one has paid for. Nevertheless, libraries can work together in consortia to negotiate better prices and access terms with publishers on a national, regional or sector basis. As a result, model licences have been adopted by many publishers. The organisation Electronic Information for Libraries (known eIFL.net) supports the development of library consortia in developing and transition countries to gain affordable access to electronic scholarly resources and research material. eIFL.net will negotiate licences with publishers on a multi-country basis to leverage highly discounted prices, alternative business models and fair terms for access and use.

The point about licences is that they can be negotiated. But isolated libraries in developing countries may lack both the confidence and the skill to undertake this tough process. The answer is probably two-fold: statutory compulsory licences and building strong library consortia.

2) Colombia

The Colombian Nobel laureate of literature, Gabriel Garc�a M�rquez, has written a book entitled �Memorias de mis putas tristes� (Memories of my sad whores). The book is published by Random House, Colombia, which is the publishing division of the German multinational corporation Bertelsmann. On the title page of the book, the publisher has written that all rights are reserved and that not a single part of the book can be reproduced by any means. But Random House has gone much further and stated that the book should not be lent by any public institution, such as libraries, without the authorization of the author and without the payment of extra royalties to the copyright holder, that is, to Random House.

3) Uganda

The National Library of Uganda operates a service called the �Digital Book Mobile� that attempts to make books available in parts of rural Uganda where they are seldom found. Several years ago a visit was arranged for children attending the �displaced schools� of Gulu, Uganda ; the 22 primary schools with more than 300 students are called �displaced schools� because the children have been uprooted from their home villages as a result of civil war and relocated in Gulu. The two-day event was called �one of the rare occasions when children who in their existence share a common daily experience of uncertainty converged in one place to indulge in reading as a peaceful activity.�

For the first time in their lives, hundreds of titles were made available for the children�s use; their teachers, who knew that most of the books were far too expensive for local schools to purchase, asked if it might be possible for some of them to be reproduced for use in the future in Gulu-area schools. (Reproduction of whole books is forbidden under copyright law, even if the books are to be used for non-profit educational purposes. A report on the Gulu event says that the �most favourite title for children in upper primary (to take home) was �Alice�s Adventures in Wonderland� by Lewis Carroll.� It continues that �teachers showed very keen interest in African Writers series which unfortunately is still under copyright protection and so could not be reproduced or distributed electronically without permission.�

4) Francophone West Africa

One continuing colonial �relic� in the countries of �French-speaking� West Africa is that they still use a �droit d�auteur� copyright system which privileges the so-called �moral rights� of authors; this system significantly reduces what are called �fair dealing/fair use� exemptions. It has been reported that photocopiers at a university library in one such country were being used for unauthorised copying and that when the university was having its annual inspection as a university, conducted by the �mother university� in the United States, this fact was revealed. The African university was evidently told that this had to be corrected by the time of the inspection in the following year or it might lose its accreditation. As a result, a senior university official reportedly had all of the public photocopiers removed from the library.

5) South Africa

Librarians are restricted from digitising a valuable national collection, which is rapidly deteriorating and will soon be unreadable, because individual copyright clearance is necessary for the digitising of each item. Acquiring such permission is a cumbersome and time-consuming process � and sometimes unsuccessful. Some rights owners cannot be located or traced; some simply refuse to give their permission; some want to be paid high fees or lay down strict conditions on the use of the copyrighted materials.

6) Ethiopia

A survey in the 1990�s revealed that the library of Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia was forced to cancel its subscriptions to a total of 1,200 academic journals. (The same survey found that the library at the University of Nigeria and the University of Yaounde�s Medical Library in Cameroon were forced to cancel, respectively, 824 and 107 academic journals.) A 1995 study of this Ethiopian university system revealed that only 4.2 per cent of the total book titles had been published since 1985 and �consequently the vast majority of books held are old and may be considered out of date.� One of the largest academic journal publishers, the Elsevier Group, had a turnover of �4,812m for the financial year ended 31 December 2004, a sum greater than the combined national revenues of Mauritius, Maldives, Madagascar, Mozambique, Seychelles and Botswana.

----- Fin del extracto, para accesar el texto completo del documento en Acceso Abierto ir aqui: <http://www.copysouth.org>

-- Zapopan Martín Muela-Meza, PhD candidate Department of Information Studies University of Sheffield 211 Portobello Street, Sheffield, S1 4DP UNITED KINGDOM zapopanmuela*nospam*gmail.com http://www.shef.ac.uk/is/research/groups/lib/people.html

"Tiranos y autocratas han entendido siempre que el alfabetismo, el conocimiento, los libros y los periodicos son un peligro en potencia. Pueden inculcar ideas independientes e incluso de rebelión en las cabezas de sus súbditos." -- Carl Sagan. El mundo y sus demonios: la ciencia como una luz en la oscuridad. Barcelona: Planeta, 1997, p. 390.

"Tyrants and autocrats have always understood that literacy, learning, books and newspapers are potentially dangerous. They can put independent and even rebelious ideas to the heads of their subjects." -- Sagan, Carl (1997). The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. New York: Ballantine Books, p. 362

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