IFLA Secretary General’s Statement on the Mexican copyright reform
04 May 2018
The following statement is made by IFLA Secretary General Gerald Leitner, on 4 May 2018
On behalf of libraries and their users in Mexico and around the world, I am concerned to hear about a reform recently voted in the Mexican Senate. The law in question would allow for articles, videos and other works to be taken offline or removed from public access on the mere suspicion of copyright infringement.
The proposed provisions, themselves agreed without serious debate, appear to be disproportionate and unnecessarily restrictive of the fundamental human rights of freedom of access to information and freedom of expression. Websites and others which host content – including libraries – may not only be forced to remove materials, but may even see their own equipment – servers, photocopiers and others – seized, without firm evidence.
In endorsing the Manila Principles, IFLA underlined its opposition to restrictions on content that are not transparent, do not follow due process, and do not give platforms and producers the right of reply. The Mexican proposals would do none of these things, and would all too easily lead to legitimate articles, videos, and other works being removed.
Libraries respect copyright, and the fact that those who create works need to have the opportunity to earn a living from them. The Mexican proposals will harm creativity and the institutions and platforms that encourage it. I call on the government and parliament to halt these changes at least until adequate consultation occurs regarding the impact of the proposed changes.
IFLA Secretary General