Copyright and Libraries
In a democratic society libraries serve as a warrantor for access by all members of the society to any type of knowledge which might be necessary for them. However, knowledge, its dissemination and access to information is protected by the Law on Copyright, and for that reason the issue of copyright becomes very important to libraries. The aspects that are of upmost significance are copyright exceptions and limitations applicable to libraries, terms of preservation of works, management of digital rights, awareness about the copyright owner, orphan works (where the copyright holders are either unknown or information about them is unavailable). Libraries are not only involved in everyday operations related to the works protected by copyright but they also have to play an active role of copyright policy makers both on the national and international scale.
Library Community Strives for Balanced Copyright
The objective of copyright is to foster the authors’ creativity, to develop science and arts. To accomplish efficient protection of copyright, it is necessary to establish the balance between the protection of the rights exercised by authors and the users’ rights to use the works for the purposes of learning, teaching and further creative activities. To achieve this balance, a combined system of copyright exceptions and limitations, time-limited protection and fair remuneration to authors is used.
Library professionals worldwide are of the opinion that lately the balance in copyright has been distorted. Librarians have been publicly voicing their concern about the global tendency to protect the rights of authors and commercial companies by breaching the users’ interests. Unbalanced laws on copyright impose restrictions on access to information and knowledge or enable to charge the prices that are unaffordable to the general public. Library professionals have been actively protecting the rights of libraries and their customers by taking part in various events and trying to impact the process of passing or amending the relevant legal acts.
The Lithuanian Research Library Consortium takes part in the EIFL program Promoting the Right to Know: Copyright and Libraries, which is also known as the EIFL - IP. The objective of the program is to protect and to advocate for the copyright-related interests of the libraries of the EIFL member countries and their customers, to promote the balanced national and international legislation.
By taking part in the trainings arranged under the framework of the eIFL program, the Lithuanian Research Library Consortium has acquired inestimable knowledge and understanding of the copyright issues. In its own turn, the LMBA provides information about the national laws and library practices for international studies and consultations. The network of the EIFL copyright specialists ensures interaction between the LMBA and the international library community. Through the EIFL the LMBA is represented in the international organizations, such as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and others.
The Lithuanian Research Library Consortium strives to accomplish the maximum access to resources necessary for science, studies and self-education that would be embedded in the copyright laws thus promoting the prosperity of creativeness, education and research in Lithuania.
The EIFL - IP coordinator in the Lithuanian Research Library Consortium is Emilija Banionytė. Should you have any questions regarding the EIFL - IP program or face any copyright-related problems at your library, do not hesitate to contact emilija.banionyte [eta] leu.lt.
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