Through the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) offers a platform for discussion among Member States and NGOs at a global level on intellectual property law and how to make it work better. SCCR is, among others, currently focusing on exceptions and limitations to copyright for libraries, archives and museums – the derogations from the exclusive rights of authors and publishers which allow libraries to do things such as preservation, reproduction or lending.

IFLA’s work at WIPO

IFLA has a strong record of engagement at WIPO, with the objective of making global progress towards legal frameworks that allow libraries to serve their users better. We have been calling for an international legal instrument that will support domestic policy makers in passing reforms that benefit the public while allowing for cross-border collaboration. The interest in seeking such a solution is that this will both raise all signatory countries up to a minimum standard of limitations and exceptions for libraries, as well as allowing for cooperation and sharing of knowledge across borders.

Together with partner NGOs that represent the interests of libraries, museums and archives all over the world, IFLA argues that our institutions have a key public interest role, and that the current system is not working for them in many countries, or when working with digital content.

SCCR 34 – 1st to 5th May, 2017

The thirty-fourth session of SCCR took place in Geneva from 1st to 5th of May 2017. Alongside many Member States and non-governmental organisations, IFLA called on the Committee to find practical ways of making progress towards an effective solution for libraries. IFLA also intervened to highlight the importance of effective implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty.

Overall, the outcome was positive for libraries, archives and museums. The Committee will return to the topic in November, where discussion will benefit from an update of the study by Professor Kenneth Crews on copyright exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives.

IFLA has enjoyed the welcome support of member states who understand that strong libraries mean stronger, fairer and more sustainable development. We look forwards to working with our members, at all levels, to promote the policy reforms that will allow this to happen.