CLM focuses its energies on areas of copyright where it can have the greatest impact, and where threats to libraries’ ability to preserve a balance between user and owner rights are most pressing. It is mostly concerned with the global copyright arena, as IFLA is an international organisation. CLM works with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva, where CLM representatives, often in conjunction with colleagues from Electronic Information for Libraries (eIFL), the US-based Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) and the International Council on Archives (ICA), have actively participated in meetings since 2005. It monitors international trade agreements that have the potential to affect libraries. CLM also works to build capacity at national levels through library associations, and is the main intellectual resource for IFLA and its members when it comes to copyright and other legal issues for libraries.

CLM work at WIPO includes:

Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives Through CLM, IFLA has been instrumental in helping bring a proposal for a treaty on Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives to the agenda of WIPO’s Standing committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR). Supported by the work of IFLA and other library groups, textual proposals have been put forward by several Member States and limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives are consistently discussed at SCCR meetings.

Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for Visually Impaired Persons
CLM worked with the World Blind Union (WBU) to encourage WIPO to pass a treaty for Limitations and Exceptions for the Visually Impaired. This was achieved in 2013, at  a Diplomatic Conference in Marrakesh. On 30 June 2016, the Treaty received its 20th ratification, meaning that it will enter into force on 30 September 2016. IFLA strongly supports further ratifications, and is working to promote effective implementation on the ground.

Relations with WIPO Secretariat
In recent years representatives of CLM have had held productive meetings with high-level WIPO administrators, discussing issues of importance to libraries and their users. WIPO regularly attends the World Library and Information Congress at high levels, and through CLM, IFLA has also participated in regional workshops in association with WIPO, the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) and the International Publishers Association (IPA) to enable regional members to understand better the work of WIPO and IFLA.

Preservation of Traditional Knowledge at WIPO
For several years WIPO has been investigating, through its Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC), what kind of protection should be given to folklore and other "traditional cultural expressions." These issues are of great important to libraries in all parts of the world and CLM has closely monitored these issues in recent years. The subject of traditional knowledge featured high on the agenda of IFLA’s President Ingrid Parent (2011-2013) and in 2012 IFLA issued Guiding Principles Concerning International Treaties Relating to Traditional Cultural Expressions.

CLM has also been involved with other developments with regards to intellectual property and the impact on libraries.

UNESCO Memory of the World Programme
CLM was closely involved with the drafting process of the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Preservation of and Access to, Documentary Heritage in the Digital Era, and IFLA continues to engage in its implementation. Find out more about what IFLA is doing on preservation on the dedicated pages of our website.

Orphan and Out of Commerce Works CLM members drafted the IFLA Statement on Orphan works and have actively been engaged in stakeholder dialogs to find solutions for out of commerce works.

EU Copyright Reform: Through CLM, IFLA has worked closely with partner organisations in order to promote a copyright framework that both supports European libraries and librarians, and provides a model internationally. We are involved in the Copyright for Creativity (C4C) initiative and endorse the statements of C4C.

Google Book Settlement CLM has closely monitored the Google Book Settlement, engaging with the European Commission stakeholder dialogue and issuing a position Statement.

Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA)
CLM has been following and participating in the discussion around ACTA and TPPA and has issued watching briefs with regards to both treaties.