EWC is grateful for the financial support provided by:

The Association of Finnish Non-Fiction Writers (Finland)
The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society-UK
The Swedish Writers’ Union
The Society of Swedish Authors in Finland
ProLitteris (Switzerland)
The Swedish Association for Educational Writers
Sanasto, the Finnish Authors’ Copyright Society 

Authors' Rights

IFRRO - Authors Coalition (AC) - Joint Statement on The Digitisation of Printed Materials (Spring 2000)


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Official representatives of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) and of the Authors Coalition met in Brussels to further discuss the role of national RROs in the granting of licences for digitising and storage and providing access by legitimate users to printed copyright works and copyright works in digital form. The Statement covers works (books, newspapers and other periodicals, etc.) whether currently in print or currently made available. The statement is not intended to be specific about digital format or the process of digitisation, and includes optical character recognition (OCR) and digital page formats.
Authors Coalition represents the
? European Writers' Congress (49 member organisations in 26 countries, representing 50.000 authors and literary translators),
? International Federation of Journalists (350.00 journalists in 88 countries),
? The Authors Guild of America (6500 authors) and
? Text and Academic Authors Association (700 textbook-writers).
AC includes authors of fiction, textbook, general non-fiction and scientific works. These authors publish their works in book, journal and machine-readable form. The members of these organisations are in most countries involved in the work of RROs on the national level.
1. AC and IFRRO recognise the increasing demand of legitimate users to have access to copyright works in suitable digital format, and in certain circumstances to digitise and store such works.
2. AC and IFRRO reaffirm (from previous Joint Statement, January 1994) the recognition and support of the central role of Reproduction Rights Organizations (RROs) in licensing the photocopying of works. They stress the equally central role that RROs must be brought to play concerning the licensing of rights related to the digitisation, storage and use of works in digital form.
3. AC and IFRRO recognise that in certain circumstances, legitimate users wish to make digitally stored materials available within closed networks to authorised persons.
4. AC and IFRRO recognise the desirability of making the procedures for acquiring rights of use of digitised works, digitisation, storage and closed network rights as simple as possible.
5. AC recognises that national RROs could provide a non-exclusive rights clearance mechanism for works in digital form.
6. IFRRO recognises that the author can reserve exclusively the role of managing rights clearance for works in digital form. AC and IFRRO support the principle of both direct and centralised licensing of works in digital form, but recognise that centralised management of rights clearance will in many cases be preferable.
7. To this end AC will encourage its members to convey to their National RROs the non-exclusive international rights to licence certain digital uses in accordance with the principles embedded in this joint statement.
8. AC will also encourage its members to convey to their National RROs a general foreign mandate in accordance with the Policy Statement adopted at the IFRRO AGM in Amsterdam on October 20th 1999, authorising them to enter into reciprocal agreements with foreign RROs operating schemes which conform with the minimum standards of this joint statement.
9. In accordance with the Policy Statement adopted at the IFRRO AGM in Amsterdam on October 20th 1999, the AC will encourage and provide the necessary mandates for their National RROs to engage in pilot projects which take into account the minimum standards of this joint statement, and to explore questions related to downstream territoriality.
10. AC and IFRRO agree that authorisation by the author or her/his authorised representatives should always be a necessary precondition for electronic storage of printed works and for retrieval and distribution in whatever form.
11. AC and IFRRO observe that unauthorised electronic use represents substantially greater risk concerning both the moral and economic rights of an author than the present damage from unauthorised photocopying.
12. IFRRO recognises that an author should be entirely free to determine the fee, including the right to set the fee by type of content, type of user, or any other consideration deemed appropriate by the author or her/his representative.
13. IFRRO recognises that an author may wish to license certain sectors directly whilst granting licensing rights to the RRO for all other sectors.
14. AC will endeavour to persuade its members of the desirability of simplified and transparent pricing structures for use of works in digitised form.
15. Unless prohibited by the author, RROs may grant non-exclusive licenses for use of works in digital form even when the material is already available in other digital formats and databases.
16. AC and IFRRO stress that the moral rights of authors as well as their contractual and customary rights and interests must be protected. The contributions of authors to the authenticity and integrity of information, and the interest of the public in the reliability of digital information, must be appropriately safeguarded.
17. AC and IFRRO agree to continue to consult regularly and co-operate closely in implementing and developing these principles.

Spring 2000
Supported by the IFRRO Board of Directors
and in particular by Lex Lefebvre on behalf of the stm publishers

The "next generation" of IFRRO-AC Joint Statement is ready for being adopted on the occasion of the AGM in Singaporae in October 2004