This note is intended to set the stage for the discussion of Limitations and Exceptions for Special Subjects and Objects at 11:30 on Friday. Facilitators will have the chance to get discussion started with a brief (5-10 minute) intervention, which could include both reports on current developments and more speculative ideas about the way forward, among other things. I hope the group discussion can focus on specific policy proposals (the more concrete the better) that either could be mentioned in the conference declaration or could be analyzed and improved for use by policy advocates.
I hope we’ll be able to discuss the particular information access needs of various groups (persons with disabilities, artists, students, and others) within the larger society, and well as the arguments for providing particularly high levels of public access to information of particular kinds (information about public affairs or scientific literature, for example). Although its initial focus will be limitations on and exceptions to copyright, the session also will explore analogical developments concerning access to medicines and other critical innovations. I very much hope that the discussion were to reach the question of how meaningful constituencies and coalitions can be developed for the L&E’s under discussion. And, of course, we’ll need to discuss the factors that may constrain such policy developments – and how to address them. Finally, as in the previous session, I’d like to find time to discuss the pros and cons of limitations and exceptions that are drafted for specific kinds of uses and users, in contrast to those that apply broadly to users of all kinds.