German Library Association on cross border use at SCCR27

Mr. Armin Talke, German Library Association:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I speak on behalf of the German library association, representing 2000 libraries in the country.

I agree totally with my colleague from LIBER: Complexity is not a reason to leave the discussion. In contrary: Too much complexity,  in the interest of study and research, makes it necessary to make things a little bit easyer. I like to give a German example: A special library, that – within the German legal framework, paying remuneration to the collective societies, sends copies of works to both institutions and individuals, predominantly book chapters and journal articles. They estimate they lend roughly 600 copies to North America, 500 to EU countries, and 100 to other countries per month. Copies are provided for research and study. But because of legal incertainty, they refuse delivery in 30 % of all cases, which is a huge problem in science and technology research, as they are the sole institution with possession of a number of reports not available in other countries.

Another example: A long distance learning university like University of Hagen has students around the world. While we have a national exception for document delivery, for the students of such Universities who live outside the country, there is no such provision. So, sending documents from the university library to them constitutes at least a legal limbo. Distant learning, without question, is an emerging phenomenon. Negotiating licences for sending copies to students in other countries is cumbersome if not impossible. Imagine a Student in Sao Paulo, Nairobi or Bangkok who is studying machine engineering at University of Hagen, Cambridge or MIT. Don´t they need the same documents as the students on the university campus ?  We think they all should be treated equally.

The IFFRO representative mentioned existing licences on distant learning and cross border delivery. But a few individual licences won`t help. You have to take into account, that we speak of hundreds of different licences for electronic resources…not to speak of the resources that only exist in paper format. There is no way to license all these materials for international delivery. The IPA delegate spoke about the complexity of the different issues providing resources to students. How can a sole library solve those problems with each of hundreds rightsholders when each of them has ist own business model with 20 pages of licensing terms in very small writing ? Many rightsholders also still prohibit to send copies within the borders of the same country.

To make cross-border-delivery and distant learning more just, an internationally harmonized framework is needed.

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