Geneva, Switzerland
December 14-18, 2009

From the floor with Barbara Stratton (IFLA) and Janice Pilch (LCA) on 15 December 2009 (first and second from the left)

From the floor with Barbara Stratton (IFLA) and Janice Pilch (LCA) on 15 December [first & second from the left]

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
  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 at 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 favour of robust international exceptions and limitations on 16 December 2009. IFLA, eIFL, the LCA, and the Italian Library Association were invited to meet with the United States Delegation during SCCR 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. Representatives from the library community also met with delegates from the Africa Caucus to discuss our objectives.

Winston Tabb and Luis Villarroel in between sessions

Winston Tabb (CLM) and Luis Villarroel (Corporacion Innovarte) in between sessions

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. For more information, please see the adopted conclusions.

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 of the
role they can play in helping to answer the exceptions and limitations
questionnaire that will be issued early in 2010.

photos courtesy of  Teresa Hackett (eIFL)