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Copyright and Permissions: Technical Protection Measures (TPM)

Welcome! This guide provides information and resources on copyright law in Lebanon and internationally. The guide emphasizes on how copyright law relates to academic activities such as research, teaching, and publishing.

The Technical Protection Measures 

Article 11, WIPO Copyright Treaty (1996)

Technological Protection Measures (TPM) aim to reduce infringement of copyright by controlling the way in which a work is used. TPM uses different types of technology to control access to digital copyrighted content, or to prevent users from copying or sharing it. While aiming to reduce infringement, TPM is preventing actions permitted in national laws through exceptions and limitations to copyright.

TPM Conflict with Copyright

Libraries and archives want to ensure that they are able to circumvent a TPM which prevents them from making use of content in a way permitted by copyright exceptions.  It should be legal for libraries to acquire and apply tools to remove TPMs which prevent legitimate uses of copyrighted works (Marrakech Treaty, 2013, Article 7).

Other than the conflict with the copyright exceptions, TPMs raise two important issues for libraries:

  • The average life of a TPM is said to be between 3 and 5 years. Obsolescent TPMs will distort the public record, unless the library has a circumvention right.
  • The public domain must be protected. TPMs do not cease to exist upon expiry of the copyright term, so content will remain locked away even when no rights subsist, thereby shrinking the public domain.