WIPO Conference on Copyright in Viet NamLike all aspects of government policy, copyright laws should serve to promote the long-term public interest. It is essential to ensure that creators receive fair compensation. But it is also essential that everyone, now and in the future, can access and use these works in order to generate new ideas and knowledge.


As the way in which people create and access information changes, copyright needs to evolve to reflect this. IFLA, represented by Sue Warren (Gold Coast, Australia), underlined this message at a conference in Viet Nam, organised by the World Intellectual Property Organisation.


As the Vietnamese government reflects on the shape of a future copyright law, there is a real opportunity. The preservation of damaged documents, public lending, and fair uses of copyrighted works are all key for achieving libraries’ public interest objectives. In a digital age in particular, we need to be able to digitise documents, and get around contract terms and technological protection measures and contract terms that prevent the enjoyment of exception and limitations to copyright.


Librarians should not have to carry out these activities without certainty about whether they are acting legally.


Sue drew on the Australian experience, where libraries have successfully put forward-looking reforms on the agenda. Participants at the Viet Nam workshop were keen to learn more about these efforts, in order to inspire their own work. 


Read more about IFLA's work on copyright here.