Geneva, Switzerland
December 14-18, 2009

The World Intellectual Property Organization"s 19th Session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) was held from 14-18 December 2009. IFLA was represented by Winston Tabb, Barbara Stratton, and Kelly Milam. The international library community was also represented by eIFL (Teresa Hackett and Awa Cissé), the LCA (Janice Pilch), and the Italian Library Association (Simonetta Vezzoso).

The primary agenda items addressed during the Session were:

  1. The regional studies on exceptions and limitations for educational purposes (available at
  2. Discussion and interventions on exceptions and limitations (including the proposal by Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay for a WIPO Treaty for Improved Access for Blind, Visually Impaired and other Reading Disabled Persons)
  3. Discussion and interventions on the protection of audio-visual performances
  4. Discussion and interventions on the rights of broadcasting organizations.

IFLA was party to two verbal interventions: A joint statement with eIFL supporting exceptions and limitations for libraries and educational organizations given by Barbara Stratton, and a joint statement with eIFL and the LCA opposing a treaty on the rights of broadcasters given by Teresa Hackett. Additionally, both LCA and eIFL issued their own individual statements on exceptions and limitations.

The following statements were made by SCCR:

The most surprising and welcomed event of the Session was undoubtedly the shift in policy voiced by the delegation from the United States in favor of robust international exceptions and limitations on 16 December 2009. Latter that evening IFLA, eIFL, the LCA, and the Italian Library Association were invited to meet with the United States Delegation to discuss its policy shift. This was a very productive meeting; the U.S. delegation offered concrete and useful advice on how the international library community can best further our goals regarding exceptions and limitations.

The adoption of the Conclusions on the final day went late into the night due to blocking efforts on items related to exceptions and limitations by some delegates. The adopted conclusions can be found here (scroll to the bottom of the page):

The good news is that exceptions and limitations will continue to be on the SCCR’s agenda for the foreseeable future.

The initial course of action resulting from the 19th Session of the SCCR will be to advise National Libraries and Library Associations the role they can play in helping to answer the exceptions and limitations questionnaire that will be issued early in 2010.