Lacking Fair Use Rights, Argentina Tries To Increase Access To Copyright Works, With Mixed Results
from the you-win-some,-you-lose-some dept
If you think copyright is bad in regions like the US or Europe, this post from Intellectual Property Watch points out that things could be much worse:
In Argentina, there’s no such thing as a "fair use" judicial doctrine. Moreover, Argentina is one of those few countries in the world where Domaine Public Payant is still in force -- which means to use or reuse works that have already fallen into the public domain one has to pay a "tax" that goes to a black hole known as then National Art’s Fund (Fondo Nacional de las Artes).
Understandably, then, people are trying to fix this, with varying success. For example, Argentina's Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation (MINCYT) is hoping to move publicly-funded research centers and universities to an open access model:
The bill mandates publicly-funded research projects, papers, theses, etc. to be deposited in the to-be-created Digital Repositories within 6 months of creation or publication (in a private journal) and research data within 5 years of recollection. The Digital Repositories will be managed by the MINCYT and it will guarantee open, free and universal access to users from a single website.
That's almost certain to happen: the Chamber of Deputies has approved the bill, and only the Argentine Senate needs to do the same. But another bill has been less fortunate, even though its aims are extremely modest:
[to] allow public libraries, museums and archives to loan, copy and communicate to the public (within the premises) their lawfully acquired works freely and without requiring permission from the copyright owner, in accordance with and limited to their public interest goals.
Sadly, this looks less likely to come to fruition thanks to opposition from collecting societies, who seem to think they have a right to payments even from libraries trying to do their job by helping the public gain access to information. Argentina's archaic copyright system may be very different, but its collecting societies are clearly no different from those in other countries.