Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wellington Declaration

The Wellington Declaration which has arisen out of the PublicACTA Conference held on 10 April 2010, makes some important points for the business or international trade librarian/information specialist.  For example it says and I quote one only:

We recognise that the Internet has enabled creativity and innovation, the sharing of knowledge, citizen engagement and democracy, and is an engine of economic growth and opportunity.

Brenda Chawner has alerted the New Zealand library community to the Declaration on nz-libs and this morning LIANZA  has issued this statement:

LIANZA supports Wellington Declaration regarding trade agreement on copyright

LIANZA, the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa / Te Rau Herenga o Aotearoa, supports the points made in the Wellington Declaration ( ), which is addressed to the parties negotiating ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, meeting in Wellington this week.

LIANZA firmly believes that one of the principal purposes of copyright law is to encourage the dissemination and sharing of information, and is strongly opposed to any measures which inhibit these.

ACTA is a trade agreement being negotiated in secret.  LIANZA considers that any agreement relating to intellectual property should be negotiated openly and transparently, so that all potential stakeholders have input to the process. 

The Internet has become a vital tool for communication and dissemination of knowledge, and LIANZA believes that any measures, such as peremptory disconnection as envisaged in the now-abandoned section 92A of the New Zealand Copyright Act, that have potential to damage the open principles of the Internet should be avoided.

LIANZA also considers it is essential that exceptions currently included in copyright law, such as copying for research or private study, fair dealing, copying for educational purposes, and copying by libraries for library users and the users of other libraries, must be retained.

These and other exceptions are vital in maintaining an appropriate balance between encouraging creativity and protecting the rights of authors, publishers and other creators of literary, musical and artistic works, and providing for the needs of society to benefit from and make use of the ideas and knowledge incorporated within publications and other artistic works.   Maintenance of this balance is fundamental to good copyright law.

We recently had Richard Stallman in New Zealand and I posted about his talk in Levin (see below)

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