More than 80 production companies and authors of editorial, musical and audiovisual content promoted a series of injunctions against last year’s reforms to the General Law of Libraries in terms of Legal Deposit that obliges publishers, music and film content producers to contribute six copies of their productions to integrate a deposit that, according to the law, should be made available to the public through public libraries.
However, this Wednesday the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) studied the case and via district judges issued two sentences that dictate that the reform must be subject to the precepts of the Federal Copyright Law that obliges any party interested in publishing a protected work to have the authorization of the owner of the rights.
Therefore, libraries will not be able to put literary works or audiovisual productions, among others, for public consultation if they do not have their respective authorizations.
Only “with the prior authorization of the rights holders, the publications and works that make up the aforementioned legal deposit may be consulted, made available and, where appropriate, digitized solely for conservation purposes, with the exception of publications whose rights have been expired or are located in the hypotheses of public domain”, the district judges ruled this Wednesday, according to information from the National Chamber of the Mexican Publishing Industry (Caniem).
Likewise, the SCJN ruled that for the constitution of the so-called legal deposit, the responsible party must “implement effective technological protection measures and information on the management of rights such as any technology, device or component that, in the normal course of its operation, protect the copyright.”
With this, the Caniem statement refers, “the SCJN grants legal certainty in the application of the General Law of Libraries and safeguards intellectual property rights, giving reason to the creative sector in the face of claims against the imprecise and ambiguous text of the General Law of Libraries”.
What does the reform of the General Law of Libraries say?
The new law, approved in the Legislature in 2021, includes a Chapter X that declares of “public interest the collection, integration, storage, custody and conservation of all works of educational, cultural, scientific, technical or entertainment content, distributed for their commercialization or free of charge, in printed or electronic, analogical or digital formats, in the national territory”, so each of these must transfer copies of their products to integrate a so-called Legal Deposit that must serve as a basis for public consultation.
Specifically, the products of interest listed above range from books, newspaper publication, catalogs, cartographic material, sheet music, phonograms, discs, ribbons, audiovisual works Y Photographsas well as Graphic material Y postersamong others.
Chapter X designates as depository institutions of these materials the Library of Mexicothe Union Library of Congress and the National Library of Mexicosame to which the owners of the works must deliver two original copies, whether it is an electronic or analog work.
However, both copyright holders of editorial, musical and audiovisual works have expressed since last year their discontent with the measure, since, they argued through this newspaper, this could jeopardize the guarantee of copyright protection. of the works exposed to the public in the depository institutions, which would not have the necessary supports to guarantee the non-violation of their rights, specifically, to avoid their reproduction and profit without authorization.