The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) will once again be focusing on exceptions and limitations for libraries next week.

IFLA will be there, and together with partner organisations, will call for positive progress on creating the legal framework our institutions need to fulfil their missions.

Where things stand

Member States have been discussing the topic of exceptions and limitations has been discussed for several sessions, with a focus on libraries, archives, museums and educational and research institutions.

A year ago, in order to encourage progress, the WIPO Secretariat proposed an action plan, setting out a programme  of studies, meetings and a conference on limitations and exceptions.

Last November, Professor Kenneth Crews delivered a first key element of this work – a typology for libraries.

Still on the agenda are three regional seminars which will take place in Singapore in April, in Kenya in June and in the Dominican Republic in July. These will look into the activities and needs of libraries in key world regions, and analyse whether the current exceptions and limitations regime is sufficient to meet them.

Our expectations

The success of the regional seminars, which will lead to an international conference in October is key to future progress at WIPO.

That is why at next week’s meeting, IFLA will be advocating for transparency in preparations for the regional seminars, and strong possibilities for the voice of our sector to be heard. We will also underline that the workshops should be focused on results, leading to documents which can inform future decision-making.

IFLA will also be working with member states to explain our position and our end goal of seeing meaningful international progress on limitations and exceptions for libraries, archives and museums. To do so, we will underline the need for up-to-date copyright laws, and the need for a global approach to facilitate cross-border cooperation.

How to get involved

Once again, IFLA has encouraged its members to reach out to their national representatives and support IFLA’s position ahead of the meeting.

You do not need to be in Geneva to engage in the discussions. Here’s what you can do:

  • Identify your national representatives to SCCR. Every UN member state is represented at WIPO, although not all attend. If you can’t find out from your copyright office, ask IFLA who went to the previous meeting. Write to them ahead of the meeting, highlighting what libraries are doing and what’s at stake.
  • Follow IFLA on social media. We’ll be using the hashtag #Copyright4Libraries during SCCR. Use the hashtag to share your own experience and examples of why we need a better copyright
  • Apply to join the IFLA CLM Network, a world-wide group of experts on copyright and libraries. You can share news on copyright reforms in your country, as well as receiving updates on our work with SCCR, and find many allies ready to help you in your own advocacy work.
  • Let IFLA know if there are any issues to raise with your representatives in Geneva. It may be difficult to contact senior officials at home, but within WIPO it can be easy, and we will be happy to do it on your behalf.
  • Let IFLA know what you’ve done! Share your stories and examples with us.

Learn more

Learn more about what IFLA is planning to do around the regional seminars. For general information about WIPO, read our Get into WIPO guide, or watch our webinar on the matter.