Access to Knowledge: a guide for everyone Page: 37
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be used to deny access to educational material that is in fact allowed by
This is not to say that there is no place at all for digital locks. There
are limited cases in which these technologies can prove useful for users
and content owners alike, such as allowing for digital movie rental. How-
ever rather than being bolstered by additional TRIP-plus legislative pro-
tections, such uses should stand or fall in the marketplace alongside non-
encumbered alternatives, and should not be allowed to prevent users
from exercising their user rights or from accessing works that are in the
There are early signs of an international consensus that the use of dig-
ital locks has gone too far. A WIPO-commissioned scoping paper on the
public domain has recommended that the WCT be amended to prohibit
a technical impediment to reproduce, publicly communicate or making
available a work that has fallen into the public domain."
Brazil has introduced such a provision into its new copyright bill, that
would penalise anyone who "hinders or impedes" fair use rights or ob-
structs the use of work that has already fallen into the public domain.
But it has gone a step further in that it would also require that any system
of digital locks have "time-limited effects that correspond to the period of
the economic rights over the work, performance, phonogram or broad-
The Brazilian provision, as with a similar Indian amendment also in-
troduced this year, will also permit digital locks to be bypassed to faciliate
the exercise of user rights such as fair use or fair dealing under copyright
These new, consumer-friendly limits to the overreaching effects of
digital locks conform to a series of recommendations that the Trans-
Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) made in 2005,13 and to similar rec-
ommendations made by CI this year.14
10 Kanniah, Rajeswari, CI Study on Copyright and Access to Knowledge. Asia Pacific Con-
sumer, 43 & 44 2006, Nr. 1 & 2, op. cit. (as in n. 15), p. 14.
11 Dusollier, Sdverine, Scoping Study on Copyright and Related Rights and the Public
Domain. 2010 (URL: http://www.wipo.int/ip- development/en/agenda/pdf/scoping_
12 Anderson, Nate, US could learn from Brazilian penalty for hindering fair use.
2010 (URL: http://arstechnica.com/tech- policy/news/2010/07/us-could-learn-from-
13 Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue, Resolution on Digital Rights Management.
2005 (URL: http://tacd.org/index2.php?option=com_docman&task=doc view&gid=
14 Consumers International, 2010 IP Watchlist. 2010 (URL: http://a2knetwork.org/sites/
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Noronha, Frederick & Malcolm, Jeremy. Access to Knowledge: a guide for everyone, text, 2010; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33297/m1/47/: accessed January 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .