Copyright, and in particular exceptions and limitations to the exclusive powers it offers writers and publishers, is crucial for libraries. A good copyright framework allows libraries to preserve, copy and share books and other materials, and so find a sustainable balance between supporting creators, and ensuring equitable access to knowledge.


However, the growing use of digital technology to provide, access and share knowledge was leading to an ever wider gap between users’ expectations and what libraries were legally allowed to offer. This put libraries’ traditional balancing role in the copyright system at risk.  


At CopyCamp, an international meeting of NGOs, academics and government representatives from Europe and beyond, IFLA called on participants to follow and support its efforts to find a global solution at the World Intellectual Property Organisation. The IFLA presentation is available here.


With ‘The Future of Copyright’ as the overall theme, IFLA stressed that if we are to avoid both the total privatisation of knowledge, or a situation where people feel that they have no serious alternative to piracy, effective libraries are crucial to ensuring a sustainable information environment.


CopyCamp, already at its fifth edition, is an opportunity to explore different aspects of copyright, from human rights to entrepreneurship, and basic education to data science. Taking place in Warsaw, it was also an opportunity to highlight the successes of Polish librarians in promoting effective national reforms.  IFLA’s partner organisation EIFL has been closely engaged in this work.


IFLA will be returning to Poland next August for the World Library and Information Congress. Do zobacznia!


You can view the IFLA presentation at this link: