Centre for Internet & Society

Observers made the following statements on GRULAC's proposal on analysis of copyright related to the digital environment on 5th May 2017.


Thank you, Chairman. I'd like to thank the WIPO Secretariat for this initiative because I think it can contribute to a constructive discussion in this committee on a number of issues raised in the document proposed by GRULAC. CISAC would like to thank the two professors on their presentations on the work done in April, and we look forward in great interest to the presentation of the conclusions at the next meeting of SCCR in November. (CISAC) we have a number of -- I'd like to refer to the need to the transfer of values. The greatest challenge -- which is the greatest challenge facing creators, and then there's the changing role of Internet service providers. As very often the authors are marginalized by the digital economy and the value chain. And then the comments about the need to interpret WIPO treaties in the most faithful way possible to the original spirit and also prudence in implementing exceptions and limitations using other alternatives where possible, such as licenses. Thank you.

Thank you, Chairman, and I congratulate you and your vice chairs on your guidance at this meeting, and I associate myself with these statements made by -- the statements made by states such as the USA, E.U.. I'd also like to congratulate GRULAC on this proposal and recommend the committee, in the face of all these studies, which are very interesting, that we performers believe there are priorities, including, for example, the very low or zero remuneration being paid to authors for our works and our performances on Internet in the digital environment, and so we would, therefore, recommend that mainly this study should focus on that and the GRULAC proposal should be a permanent item on the agenda, and as regards the discussion of the legal systems used -- so this should be included and also the three conclusions reached by the professor should be included on the agenda of this committee. And in all this, the market is developing so rapidly, so we should invent our norms as quickly as possible so that we can compete on an equal footing, on a level playing field in this market. Thank you.

Knowledge Ecology International:
Thank you very much. I was -- like others, we'd like to take a harder look at the study. One observation I would make is in the original GRULAC proposal, looming large were issues about economics, concentration of ownership in the area of distributing works, questions about the fairness of the distribution of revenue between creative people and distributors of works. I think in some ways that what was described as the study, although it looked very competent and a great cast of characters in terms of the researchers, I would -- I think you may want to examine whether there's more economics or economists that can be brought in to shed more light on the issues raised in the initial paper. And the last thing I wanted to say is we're -- and we've talked to some Delegates about this, or actually, I should say they've talked to us about it and we agree, that the issue of metadata as it relates to digital works is really a new topic that has come about because of the digitalization of works and the development of the Internet. We often feel that the metadata's managed on behalf of right owners but not necessarily on behalf of either the creative individuals or the audiences or the readers or the listeners, and so I think this is a -- related to the GRULAC proposal. It may be a subset, but I also think it's a topic that we would like to see explored more. Thank you very much.

Thank you, Chair. I would like to focus on the role of limitations and exceptions in the digital environment for the priority of the committee at this time. There's things called non expressive uses, uses that are necessary for technological processes but do not compete with the copyright owner necessary to offer the services and Internet offer over it. We have been doing research on this topic and have been doing studies that suggest the presence of such exceptions is related to investment in growth of local digital technologies. We cannot have streaming without buffering, we can't have artificial intelligence, machine learning, text and data mining, Internet-based translation services without the right to use whole works for purposes that do not compete with the original, but only a small number of countries around the world provide these clear limitations and exceptions, and the lack of those limitations and exceptions is reducing local investment and local innovation in this area. As the experts note, the E.U. has taken a step in the right direction in this regard, creating a mandatory exception for certain technological processes in the directive. That model's not perfect. Many of these digital innovations that I mention actually require permanent copies. Nonetheless, the concept that we need a mandatory exception in this regard that can facilitate cross-border digital trade and local production and innovation should guide this committee. Thank you.

Corporacion Innovarte:
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. We're grateful for the work done by the Secretariat on this topic, as also the explanations from the professors that gave us their opinions. We think that the issue of guaranteeing fair remuneration for creators is extremely important. This item should be considered as a standing item on the committee's agenda. However, we also wanted to hearken back to what El Salvador said; in other words, there should be more participation and transparency in the work done in the group of experts in order to guarantee that all of the concerns and issues are covered that are related to this work. Finally, as to the checklists on contracts, this should include not just intermediary platforms such as YouTube, but also contracts between authors and producers or collective entities which also should be a subject of interest for this committee. Thank you.

Latin Artists:
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Latin artists represents associations of actors and other performers in the audiovisual field. We are grateful for looking at the precarious situation of artists and other creators in connection with the use of their performances in the digital era. This was described, effectively, by GRULAC in its proposal. This affects not only musical work but audiovisual works as clarified by the Delegation of Brazil at the last session of this committee, and despite the fact that the same Delegation has referred exclusively today to music. In this situation, we think that the solution is not just exploratory studies, as we heard this morning. We also need to bear in mind that this scope exceeds the specific problems indicated in the GRULAC proposal, more particularly in the need to find appropriate formulas to guarantee that artists and other creators can benefit from the economic content of their performances in the digital era; in other words, formulas that guarantee that artists and authors can have fair remuneration in online use of their interpretation and performance and works. From this viewpoint, we think in the framework of the study we have to look not just at computers or databases. This can simply distract us from the questions we have before us, something that seems to be of concern to certain Delegations, as was expressed this very morning. In fact, ultimately, sir, if the debate that took place at the last session of this committee focused on the proposal of GRULAC, the study should focus exclusively on the problems identified in that proposal. That is all. At any rate, we are attentive to the conclusions which we hope will be reached and presented at the next session of this committee, and we hope that they will foster a debate that can no longer be delayed. Artists and authors need solutions. With all due respect, we cannot allow this time wastage to take place. We need an equitable sharing and the economic benefits derived from the digital use of their interpretations and works. Lastly, Latin artists understands that this question should be a standing independent item on the agenda of the committee. Thank you very much.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'd like to echo the statement of El Salvador and the United States that it will be very helpful to have written conclusions of the experts in advance so that we can react to them intelligently. Also, I would like to agree with the United States that the committee should focus on copyright issues and not more abstract market issues. If we start focusing on issues like the value gap, we also need to consider the value to authors of the free global distribution provided by Internet platforms. Thank you.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. On behalf of the general association of performers and collective management of related rights of musical performers in the Republic of Argentina, I should like to congratulate you on your appointment as Chairman of this committee as also your new vice chairs. We wish them every success in their work with the cooperation of the Secretariat and the Delegations of the countries making up this committee. I have no doubt that you will have a successful outcome. Also, I'd like to congratulate professors to thank them for both of their presentations and also the Secretariat for its necessary and positive work to bring information to us. Since the first time that the GRULAC brought a document forward has welcomed this discussion. This was an informed document made available in December 2015 by the Delegation of Brazil. At that time and today, apart from a legal solution for each country, that has found four questions on this item, the document is 31/4, which plays a major role placing on the agenda the issue of performers' rights in a digital era to make the possible damage visible to them that are suffered by performers and artists as also to make it obvious who has caused this damage; in other words, major musical production companies. We have made this public and we have fought for obligatory reflective remuneration for artists and performers in my country. I would like to point out today we are not the only ones to have this stance. We have the extraordinary of Filia, which is a Latin America company of artists and performers, which stated at its annual meeting in October 2016, it is important for document SCCR/31/4, which proposes an analysis of copyright in the digital age to be made visible and to make obvious the various difficulties encountered as also to enable our artists to consolidate their work. I do not wish to dwell on these matters further, but I must say that on a daily basis, I see how major corporations make huge profits at the expense of performers. Is this some kind of a joke? But what we need is actions from whatever quarter can prevent their action and promote our action as performers in the digital era. Thank you.

Centre for Internet and Society
Thank you Mr. Chair. On behalf of CIS, it is my submission that the study can additionally focus on all the key actors along the entire supply and value chain involved in content dissemination in the digital environment, complementing the study of the legal environments. This would shed considerable light on national legal frameworks and also provide us evidence of transparency, or the lack thereof in the businesses involved and the extent of low proportions of copyright and related rights payment to the creators and their unfair treatment. Thank you.

Electronic Information for Libraries:

Thank you, Mr. Chair. There were very many proposals on the interest of libraries, including the management of copyright limitations and exceptions in the digital environment, digital exhaustion, licenses, territoriality, and the interpretation of the three-step test. I'd like to thank the two professors for their presentations. We'd be very interested in the findings with regard to the review of copyright laws for digital uses that was dealt with at the start of the presentation. When we looked at data from the Crews study on limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives, we found that in countries that have amended their copyright laws in the last five years, digital copying is expressly barred in over 1/3 of them, even for preservation reasons. My question is are you also considering in the work the evidence and examples of problems experienced by beneficiaries of certain exceptions, such as the library and archive community, when working in the digital environment, as presented to this committee by the community over the last number of years? That would help to further inform the discussion and the possible conclusions. Thank you.

Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property:
I would like to support that aspect of the GRUAC proposal that focuses on the role of limitations and exceptions in the digital environment as a top priority for this committee.
There is an increasing recognition that so-called non-expressive uses – uses necessary for technological processes that do not compete with the copyright owner – are necessary to enable the internet and the services that are offered over it.
We at American university have been doing studies that suggest that the presence of open exceptions for technological processes isrelated to investment and growth of local digital technologies. Countries with more open exceptions do better at attracting investments in fields such as software engineering. We cannot have local streaming services without local buffering rights. We cannot have local search, artificial intelligence, machine learning, text and data mining, and internet based translation services without local rights to use whole works for purposes that do not compete with the original.
Only a small number of countries around the world provide the clear limitations and exceptions in these areas. And only a small number of countries have robust industries in related fields. But all these services are international by nature, and therefore the lack of harmonization of enabling rights is increasingly perceived as a barrier to trade.
As the experts note, the EU has taken a step in the right direction that can serve as a model in this regard – creating a mandatory exception for certain technological uses in the INFOSOC directive.
That model is not perfect. Many digital innovations I have mentioned use entire works on a basis that might not be viewed as temporary. Nonetheless, the concept that we need a mandatory exception in this regard to facilitate cross border digital trade is salient, and should guide this committee.
Thank you.

Note: Source of the statement texts are WIPO's realtime transcription service.

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