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    Two Key Laws For The Public Domain Fare Differently In Argentine Congress

    Published on 20 September 2012 @ 3:39 pm

    By for Intellectual Property Watch

    The Argentine Intellectual Property Act No. 11.723, which dates back to 1933, contains only one exception to copyright holders’ absolute power: the “droit de citation”, with an absolute maximum length of 1000 words or 8 bars for musical compositions, it must take into account the extension of the original work and is limited to certain non-profit uses only (education, research and the like).

    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).

    Recently, two collectives with asymmetric bargaining power embarked on the quest to broaden the local public domain: the humble Association of University-graduated Librarians of the Argentine Republic (ABGRA) and the powerful Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation (MINCYT).

    ABGRA managed to convince a Deputy, Carlos Heller, to re-introduce at the Chamber of Deputies a bill on exceptions for public libraries, archives and museums (File No. 2064-D-2012 of 11 April 2012). A similar bill had been presented by the same Deputy on 25 October 2010 (File No. 7819-D-2010) also at request of (and drafted by) ABGRA but fell from grace and lapsed. The reason, then? The opposition of collecting agencies.

    ABGRA’s new bill (which is essentially the same as the previous one) will 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. Collecting agencies representing book publishers and reprographic right holders (SADE and CADRA, respectively) were and still are the main contenders.

    MINCYT’s proposal aims at creating digital repositories for scientific works. Recent debate in worldwide academia spins around the reasons to pay private journals to access works written by publicly-funded researchers (Prof. Stephen Shavell goes so far as to claim all academic copyright should be abolished). To date, the publishing game is played as follows: a) scientists employed at public universities publish their works for free in private journals; b) those private journals licence those works to public universities for a (non-negligible) subscription fee. In a way, proposers of the bill argue, public education is subsidising private journals.

    MINCYT’s proposal would oblige all institutions that are part of the National System of Science, Technology and Innovation (publicly-funded research centres and universities) to adhere to the “open access” paradigm. 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.

    The Chamber of Deputies already approved MINCYT’s bill on 23 March. Now it only remains to be approved by the Senate to become law. Backed by government and the MINCYT, it’s unlikely this bill will receive major opposition. And supporters say it could mean big budgetary savings for the state.

    Links to legislation (in Spanish):

    No. 2064-D-2012 (ABGRA)

    No. 1927-D-2011(MINCYT)

     

    Maximiliano Marzetti may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     


    Leave a Reply

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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