IFLA was proud to attend the 63rd General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for 18 July discussions of May’s meeting of the Standing Committee on Copyright & Related Rights (SCCR/42). As at the May meeting, IFLA’s Copyright & Open Access Policy Officer spoke strongly in favor of clear limitations & exceptions to copyright for libraries, educational and cultural institutions, as well as in support of the African Group’s proposal which was in part adopted into a workplan.

Many national delegates on the floor also spoke in favor of limitations & exceptions and the African Group’s plan, including those from South Africa, Iran, Malawi, Brazil, and Uganda.

IFLA’s statement in part reads:

“We cannot wait – as the pandemic and climate change have demonstrated, overly-restrictive IP policies create confusion around whether libraires can offer digital access to material when crises force temporary physical closures of facilities, and natural disasters risk regrettably destroying facilities permanently – and with them, potentially, the only copies of materials if clear exceptions do not allow backups to be made and made accessible.

Crises will happen. Innovations happens because people can work with IP. We need to mitigate challenges and seize opportunities with a robust copyright system that ensures that researchers and the public are not stalled by overly-restrictive licenses and laws such that when buildings temporarily close, we cannot access digital content, or when a flood or fire destroys an archive, that material is lost forever because there is no backup. If these happen, the IP affected can benefit no one.”

The statement as read on the floor and submitted can be accessed below:

Statement to WIPO GA on the SCCR/42 report in support of L&E

We want to recognize the initiative taken by the African Group and its plan’s supporters – including South Africa, Iran, Malawi, Brasil, Uganda and others who have spoken today - and express our gratitude to the member states who have helped move forward initiatives on the cross-border preservat...