Rio Declarations

Photo by Attila(picture by Attila Kelényi)
Comments are now open on the three declarations to come out from the Rio iCommons Summit, you can submit your ideas on the iCommons wiki.

The less controversial and (in my opinion) most worthy of the three proposed texts is the Open Access Declaration, which states that scholarly literature should be available to the world under “open access” conditions. I would expect this declaration to go through with no changes.

While potentially problematic, the language in the Declaration on the WIPO Broadcast Treaty seems measured and appropriate given the potential problem that the eventual treaty will have on Creative Commons licences. The proposal to WIPO reads:

1. Establish a new clause requiring signing parties to implement the treaty in law in a way that preserves creators’ grants of permission as embodied in Creative Commons’ licenses and other systems.
2. Require signing parties to grant, at minimum, the same limitations and exceptions that are currently present under their national copyright and related rights laws (e.g., Fair Use, Fair Dealing, and other user rights).
3. Eliminate the controversial extension of legal protection for Technological Protection Measures to this new right.
4. Remove from all further consideration the inclusion of “Webcasting” from negotiations, whether in the main body of the treaty or as an “optional protocol.”

More controversial is the Declaration on DRM. I have serious problems with the use of the term Digital Rights Management, as I have mentioned several times on this blog. I believe that when talking about DRM, most people are actually talking about technical protection measures, as DRM need not be restrictive. My first comment then is to change the language of the declaration in order to make sure that it reads “technical protection measures”.

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