Thank you, Mr Chairman,
I congratulate you on your election as chair. I speak on behalf of the German Library Association, representing 10.000 libraries in Germany. Libraries and Archives face a problem: There is a high level of international copyright protection. On the other hand, there is no such uniformity of limitations. Limitations like the ones fixed in the already mentioned chair´s informal chart, e.g. for preservation, lending, document delivery are the basis of libary services. But limitations and exceptions are like a patchwork of different national legislations. For every library service crossing borders, that means: To act legally, library staff has to know about the limitations & exceptions not only in their own country – the country of origin, but also in the country of destination of that service.
Respective to the German library index, in university libraries, in 2016 around 60 % of the acquisitions were electronic. In Technical Universities, the portion of electronic acquisitions is even much higher. These numbers, in international comparison, are even low. In general, we can assert, that research libraries are digital much more than they are paper based. In the electronic world, the problem is: Resources usually are only available after agreement on licence stipulations formulated by the rightsholders, that means: Contracts are concluded. Contracts eventually can override the limitations and exceptions this committee might agree on in one or other form. The objective of facilitating cross border library, teaching and research services could be achieved by introducing an international mandatory instrument on limitations and exceptions. Another track to facilitate cross border use is an introduction of principles of harmonization, combined with a rule of mutual recognition, like proposed in the document of the delegation of Argentina.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman