Copyright matters for libraries. It is copyright, or rather exceptions and limitations to the monopoly power it offers rights-holders, that allow libraries to lend, copy, preserve, and supply works for non-commercial purposes without having to seek approval, or make payment, every time. 

But librarians in every country work under different sets of exceptions – or may have no statutory exceptions at all!  Moreover, the rapid advance of digital technologies raise new challenges for libraries in all countries.

The WLIC 2016 open session of the advisory committee on Copyright and other Legal Matters (CLM) provided an opportunity to hear about what is going on around the world, what has worked and what has not, and to share experiences and reflections on how libraries can get the legal framework they need to do their jobs.

Chaired and moderated by Eve Woodberry, Chair of CLM, speakers included:

  • Kenny Crews, Columbia University, United States (presentation)
  • Nancy Weiss, Senior Advisor to the Chief Technology Officer for Innovation and IP, The White House, United States (presentation)
  • Jessica Coates, Copyright Law and Policy Adviser, ALIA, Australia (presentation)
  • Ma Mya Oo, National Library of Myanmar, Myanmar (presentation)
  • Monika Mitera, National Library of Poland, Poland (presentation)
  • Geidy Lung, Senior Counsellor, Copyright Law Division, WIPO, Switzerland

If you are interested in doing more, try out Rate My Copyright, an initiative by our partner organisation eIFL. This gives you a basis for thinking about how well suited copyright in your country is for libraries. Take a look at the full suite of resources in English and at the rating sheet in Spanish – we'd love to hear how your country fares.