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World Library and Information Congress:
IFLA Council Resolution
Resolution on defence of Public Lending by Libraries
Whereas libraries and information services provide access to information, ideas and works of imagination in any medium and regardless of frontiers. They serve as gateways to knowledge, thought and culture,
offering essential support for independent decision-making, cultural development, research and lifelong
learning by both individuals and groups.
Libraries and information services shall make materials, facilities and services equally accessible to all
Whereas libraries provide access to information, ideas and works of imagination. They serve as gateways
to knowledge, thought and culture.
Whereas libraries contribute to the development and maintenance of intellectual freedom and help
safeguard basic democratic values and universal human rights.
Whereas libraries have a responsibility both to guarantee and to facilitate access to expression of
knowledge and intellectual activity.
Considering all this:
IFLA would like to express concerns about the recent evolution of Public Lending Right in the European Union following the national implementation of the Directive 92/100/CE. As noticed by EBLIDA, the European Commission has started infringement procedures against six Member States regarding their national implementation of the public lending right as harmonised by the Directive 92/100, to put an end to the damage suffered by rights holders due to the renumeration exemptions provided by Spain, Italy, Ireland and Portugal in their national copyright laws.
We express our concerns about this in order to make a precedent for international regulation of the issue. Again we would like to stress the need to find an appropriate balance between the economic right as stimulus to the creation and the diffusion of knowledge and culture through all the citizens of a democratic society.
We believe that to increase reading habits, libraries and their services are a basic step that should be taken into account. A higher number of libraries users will increase the number of readers and consequently the number of books sold.
The introduction of a fee paid by the State, the user or the local government bodies, from which libraries depend, will surely have an effect in those countries where such payment is today not required. Furthermore this may affect the number of lending carried out by libraries, or the budget reserved to libraries for acquisition or other matters.
We support the opportunity to provide exception to renumeration, and to exclusive right to authors, if such right is recognized at a national level, in particular for developing countries where there are low reading habits. Furthermore we feel that it is imperative to ensure exemption in those countries where it is advantageous, or is considered appropriate by national.
|Latest Revision: January 19, 2005||
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions