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La voix des Consommateurs
à travers le monde
The global voice
for consumers
La voz global para la defensa
de los consumidores
Consumers International
Study on
Copyright and Access to Knowledge
Rajeswari Kanniah
Consumers International
Kuala Lumpur
CI Study
Studied copyright laws of 11 developing countries in
Asia – Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia,
Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea,
Philippines and Thailand.
“Flexibilities”-works, rights, duration, limitations and
All the countries did not take advantage of all the
“flexibilities” permitted in the international copyright
treaties they signed and in fact provided copyright
owners more rights than they needed to.
Case Studies – Indonesia & Thailand
Copyright does play a role in determining
access to knowledge. Monopoly created results
High price of imported books
Licences for translation difficult and expensive
to obtain
Flexibilities not used e.g. compulsory licensing
and parallel import
Case Studies – Indonesia & Thailand
Retail cost of Goodman & Gilman’s
The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics:
Indonesia - US$ 81.70
Thailand - US$ 65.23
US US$ 139.00
However, in terms of cost (% of GDP per capita)
and price in the US (GDP equivalent) and PPP:
Indonesia - 8.43% : US - US$ 3,171; US$ 913
Thailand - 2.83% : US - US$ 1,065; US$ 323
Case Study – Indonesia
Other factors contributing to lack of access to
Indonesia – 52% live on less than US$2 a day;
signed Berne Convention, TRIPS and WIPO Copyright
Primary school textbooks replaced every year
Corruption in supply of school textbooks increases prices
10% VAT on textbooks except those in the local language
10% VAT on all materials used in publishing
Library budgets insufficient
University students unable to buy textbooks, resort to
Lack of access to the internet – only 7% connectivity.
Case Studies – Indonesia and Thailand
Photocopying-large scale, whole book,
low cost:
- university students
- lecturers (course packs including articles,
texts from different books) and imported
- university libraries-purchase one copy
and photocopy more copies; lend
original, photocopy for research in library
Case Study – Indonesia
Book “piracy” and unauthorised translations.
Sistem Akuntasi (Accounting System) by Mulyadi,
Universitas Gadjah Mada, published by
Penerbit Salemba Empat:
Original (big bookstore)
Original ‘Koran’ (big bookstore)
Original (small bookstore)
Photocopy of whole book
Price USD
Case Study - Thailand
Thailand - signed Berne Convention and TRIPs.
Prices of English language university textbooks high
Libraries lack budget to stock English language
textbooks and journals
7% VAT imposed on all materials used for publishing
20% tax on all imported CD ROMs
Case Study - Thailand
Is photocopying fair use? Supreme Court:
Student copying for education and research,
not for profit, deemed not to infringe copyright;
Exception extends to photocopy shop owner as long as can prove
that done on behalf of student under a hire-for-work contract;
Photocopy shop can charge for paper and use of machine, this is
not profit;
Quantity and amount of work allowed to be photocopied depends
on each case-court should take into account need for
development. To have a rule that limits the quantity of work that
can be duplicated would result in “non-understanding” of the
thoughts and philosophy in the book”.
CI Study on Copyright and Access
to Knowledge
All materials in the study available on the project website: