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On June 22, the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice decided in favour of copyright owners, in a lawsuit brought by over 80 publishers, music and film producers, as well as collective management associations against the Mexican law on libraries, which allowed libraries to lend and make available digital copies of books and other copyrighted works obtained through the obligation of legal deposit. The law further required publishers to deposit books in formats that would allow libraries to provide such accesses to users and prevented copyright owners from protecting their works with technological protection measures.

The court decided the law cannot impose such obligations and must conform with Mexican Federal Copyright Law, notably with regards to the authorization granted by copyright owners for any use of their works. The decision states that “it is clear that for purposes of consultation, making available, reproduction or digitization of works and publications subject to the legal deposit obligation, libraries must respect the provisions set out in Mexican Federal Copyright Law”, and must obtain authorization from owners of copyrighted works that libraries have access to under the legal deposit obligation for those works to be consulted, made available and when applicable digitized for sole purposes of preservation.

IPA congratulates our member CANIEM for this important victory. The decision fully supports the integrity of copyright protection provided by the international legal framework, notably the right of making available and the protection that must be granted to technological protection measures, which are essential to enable digital business models.

Hugo Setzer, President of the Mexican Publishers Association said: Publishers and other rightsholders are happy by the Supreme court’s ruling, because it amends a badly drafted law. I know there have been some concerns about the lawful service provided by libraries. This will of course continue as always, without any change. Libraries are a very important player in the book ecosystem.

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