Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Library principles on access to knowledge

Several library groups have drafted a set of principles for the WIPO Development Agenda and its forthcoming Access to Knowledge Treaty. Excerpt:

1.1. All works created by governmental authorities should be in the public domain.
1.2. Published works resulting from government-funded research should be publicly available at no charge within a reasonable time frame.
1.3. Facts and other public domain materials, and works lacking in creativity, should not be subject to copyright or copyright-like protections.
1.4. Consistent with the Berne Convention, the term of copyright should be the life of the author plus 50 years. The term of copyright should not be extended retroactively. [...]
3.2. Copying of individual items for or by individual users should be permitted for personal research and study. [...]
4.2 The goals and policies set out in this document are important statements of national and international principle and should not be varied by contract.

The principles were formulated in December 2004 and released onlaine January 26, 2005, by American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), American Library Association (ALA), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Medical Library Association (MLA), and the Special Libraries Association (SLA).

(PS: These principles are excellent: brief yet comprehensive, clear, and with perfect pitch for policy. The library groups welcome the endorsements of other organizations. Please talk to your group about signing on.)