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Copyright limitations and exceptions are fundamental for access to knowledge and thus for human and social development.

Why is IFLA advocating for copyright reform at WIPO?

Copyright laws are meant to balance the public interest in accessing information with the rights of authors, artists, and publishers. In some countries, copyright laws include provisions so libraries and archives can provide public access to the world’s knowledge—but in many countries, these exceptions apply only to resources that exist in traditional formats. Outdated copyright laws increasingly prevent libraries and archives from performing their most basic functions, simply because resources are now digital. In a number of countries, particularly in Africa and Latin America, there are no exceptions safeguarding the services of libraries and archives at all.

As rules in favor of copyright holders have increased through binding global treaties, rules for libraries and archives that enable access to information have stayed frozen. The result is a broken copyright system that:

  • Deepens inequalities in public knowledge and skills
  • Creates permanent holes in the historical record
  • Prevents information created today from being available for future generations

IFLA believes that international action is needed to ensure essential library and archive functions continue to be preserved in copyright laws.

What would an international framework look like?

IFLA is seeking an international framework that will facilitate library lending, inter library loan and document supply in digital and print forms; enable use of orphan works; ensure the ability to acquire eBooks from publishers; protect library exceptions from override by contract; among other important library activities. The Treaty Proposal on Copyright Exceptions and Limitations for Libraries and Archives was created by library and archive experts to guide Member States at the SCCR on model copyright provisions and needs to support the activities of these sectors.

What stage are the negotiations at?

Following the successful conclusion of a treaty to ensure access to works for visually impaired people (the Marrakesh Treaty) in June 2013, copyright exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives are high on the SCCR agenda. This is an important opportunity to establish the concerns of libraries and archives, and build momentum to advance SCCR discussions towards an international instrument.  

Letzte Aktualisierung: 12 Januar 2019

Latest News

A Solid Start: Asia-Pacific Government Representatives Stress Need for International Action for Libraries at Singapore Workshop

The first of three WIPO regional workshops focusing on the copyright needs of libraries, as well as archives, museums, education and research, took place in Singapore on 29-30 April. The meeting saw broad consensus that business-as-usual was not an option, and international action was necessary.

1 Mai 2019 | CLM (Committee on Copyright and other Legal Matters), Access to information, Singapore, Copyright, WIPO, Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries & Archives

Copyright in the Asia-Pacific Region: the Right Rules for Libraries?

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is organising three regional seminars to understand how far copyright rules meet the needs of libraries around the world. The first one starts on Monday in Singapore, looking at the Asia-Pacific. IFLA will be there.

27 April 2019 | CLM (Committee on Copyright and other Legal Matters), Access to information, Asia and Oceania, Copyright, Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries & Archives, WIPO

Spain’s Recent Copyright Reform: an Interview with the Chair of the Library Association’s Copyright Group

The Spanish government recently implemented two European directives: the Marrakesh Directive, and the Collective Management Directive. The bill that transposed these two pieces of legislation came with unexpected proposals on the topic of public lending rights. The chair of the copyright group at the Spanish Library Association (FESABID) tells us about the recent changes:

25 April 2019 | Advocacy, Associations, Copyright, Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries & Archives, eBooks, eLending, eLending for Libraries

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