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.

Copyright is crucial to the work of libraries, as it shapes the way information can be accessed and used. To ensure that it does not stand in the way of our public interest mission, exceptions and limitations are a fundamental part of copyright systems.

At the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), United Nations member states have been exploring this question. To go further into details, WIPO has organised three regional seminars: in the Asia-Pacific region, in the African region, and in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. The first one, for the Asia-Pacific region, takes place in Singapore next week.

The Asia-Pacific Regional Seminar

This two-day seminar (29-30 April) will analyse the situation of libraries, archives and museums as well as educational and research institutions in the region and will explore areas for action at the political level.

Countries from the Asia-Pacific region will be represented by their copyright office (or government office in charge of copyright). Libraries, archives and museums, as well as other non-governmental organisations, will also be there.

There will mostly be workshop discussions, where member states, observers and WIPO officials will exchange their views and experience on existing copyright laws and whether they are suitable to the mission of our institutions.

What are our objectives?

At WIPO, IFLA works to underline the need to deliver progress at the international level on the topic of exceptions and limitations. It is the best way to ensure that these provisions apply across-borders (and so enable libraries globally to cooperate), and to encourage change in countries where reform to copyright laws is overdue.

At the Asia-Pacific regional seminar, we will call for this, underlining how in many countries in the region, copyright laws do not respond to the public interest mission of libraries, archives and museums.

Stay tuned for the outcomes of the meeting on IFLA’s webpage and social media, under the hashtag #Copyright4Libraries.

For more information, you can watch our webinar on the matter, recorded and made available on our website. See our infographic on exceptions and limitations in the region. We will be live-tweeting the event.