On May 10, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) submitted comments (PDF) on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a trade agreement currently being negotiated between the US and the European Union (EU). While negotiations are still in their preliminary stages, LCA urges the inclusion of provisions to harmonize public access to the results of government-funded research. LCA also cautions against the inclusion of an intellectual property chapter in the agreement.
LCA warns that the EU is more protective of copyright and related rights and may try to impose the same restrictions on the US. As a result, libraries might for example, be forced to pay royalties to publishers in order to lend books, something they currently do for free under the first sale doctrine. Any copies currently made under the fair use doctrine might be subject to compulsory licenses. While it may be possible to negotiate concessions from the EU, these will likely come at a cost to the US. To avoid being forced into a defensive position, LCA recommends that TTIP not address intellectual property.
The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) consists of three major library associations—the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Association of College and Research Libraries. These three associations collectively represent over 300,000 information professionals and thousands of libraries of all kinds throughout the United States and Canada. Find us on the web at http://librarycopyrightalliance.org/.