Thank you, Mr Chairman,
I speak on behalf of the German Library Association, representing 2000 libraries in Germany.
The topic of „parallel importation“ is – apart from the right to purchase information resources from other coutries – a problem of “international exhaustion” of the distribution right. As long as countries have only national or regional exhaustion – like in the EU, libraries that buy books in other countries outside the European Union cannot be sure that they are allowed to lend them to their patrons. A good example for this ist he situation I already talked about on SCCR 26: A special research institution in Germany buys books in India or Mexico, or the USA – can they lend those books ?Not, if the rightsholder did not agree on the distribution within the EU. On the other hand, in swiss they have international exhaustion: An Institution in Geneva – let´s say the WIPO library – which buys books in any country, can lend them to whoever they want. Libraries that help to build up research infrastructures need legal certainty and freedom to buy their resources wherever they need to. This can be a cross-border issue, which has to be internationally binding. If we take a look at worldwide interconnected cultural or research institutions, e.g. the branch in Germany (e.g. of Goethe Institut) should be able to send books to their branch in Bogota, Nairobi or Sidney. Those branches should be allowed to lend those books to their patrons. That applies the same, however, to Institutions like the Kennedy Institut, Instituto Cervantes, Alliance Francaise or the British Council. To enable all this, we need balancing not only of exceptions and limitations, but also of exhaustion. In every country, there should be international exhaustion.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman