The UN agency that manages the global intellectual property system – including copyright – has nominated a new Director General. As the current Chair of the organisation’s copyright committee – and as a modernising reformer nationally – he will bring a strong awareness of the needs of libraries to the role.
This week, the Coordinating Committee of the World Intellectual Property Organization meets to take a provisional decision on a new Director General. Getting the right candidate could provide helpful support for libraries and wider efforts to promote access to information in support of development.
IFLA has shared its comments on a draft issues paper prepared by the World Intellectual Property Organisation about artificial intelligence. These look to ensure that the case for copyright exceptions, the need for preservation, and the broader impact of new rights are all taken into account.
IFLA Signs on to Letter Calling for Transparency over Guidelines on Upload Filter Provisions in Europe19 January 2020
IFLA has joined with over 40 civil society organisations across Europe in calling for the sharing of draft guidelines on the implementation of the controversial upload filter provisions in the Copyright Directive.
IFLA Submission Calls on US to Reject Efforts to Use Trade Measures to Delay Much-Needed Copyright Reforms19 January 2020
Efforts to use trade measures to delay or block long-overdue copyright reforms which will benefit libraries and their users are regrettable. In its comment to a review of South Africa’s enjoyment of preferential trade rules with the United States, IFLA has therefore called for the rejection of a petition seeking to punish the country for taking steps to improve how copyright functions.
On 23 November 2019, UNESCO adopted a recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER). This marks the culmination of a long effort to which IFLA has contributed from the perspective of libraries. It is with a great enthusiasm that IFLA welcomes this consensus of UNESCO's Member States.
This Saturday, 7 December 2019, IFLA wishes to highlight an important date for European libraries: we are only 18 months from the final date of the implementation of the new European Copyright Directive in Europe, the Digital Single Market Directive. 7 June 2021 will be the deadline for Member States to complete the implementation procedure.
On November 26th, IFLA was once again at WIPO, at a meeting organised by the secretariat for Non-Governmental Organizations.
In June 2019, the European Union’s new Copyright Directive entered into force. Member States must implement this Directive into their national laws by 7 June 2021. In many, the process is underway - libraries should be involved!
The 39th meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights saw the shape of a possible agreement on preservation emerge, but also continued opposition from countries denying the reality of cross-border collaboration between libraries.
From 18th to 19th October 2019, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) hosted an international conference on issues of copyright exceptions and limitations for libraries, archives and museums.
This Friday 18th October, the International Conference on Exceptions and Limitations at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) begins. It will be an opportunity to deliver on the mandate given by Member States "to consider the opportunities and challenges provided by various international solutions including soft law, contractual/licensing and normative approaches, as appropriate". IFLA will be there, encouraging stakeholders to deliver a concrete action plan that improves the situation for libraries.
The rules around library eLending are on the agenda again in the United States, following the decision by one publisher to impose limits on libraries' ability to give access to new books. We interviewed Sari Feldman, past President of the American Library Association and currently a Senior Policy Fellow focusing on eBooks, about the situation.
A lot of advocacy work focuses on trying to change laws in order to improve the situation for libraries. However, there can be alterantives to legal reform as a recent example from Australia shows. IFLA interviewed Sue McKerracher, CEO of the Australian Library and Information Association to find out more.
Promoting Access to Knowledge and Information: WIPO Members Affirm Role in Delivering the Sustainable Development Goals7 October 2019
From 30 September to 9 October 2019, the General Assemblies of the World Intellectual Property Organization took place in Geneva, Switzerland. WIPO is the United Nations agency responsible for copyright, as well as other intellectual property issues.
Since the adoption of the Marrakesh Treaty, IFLA has been monitoring how countries make it a reality. Today we publish the fourth update of the Marrakesh Monitoring Report, which looks into countries that have signed or ratified the Treaty since January 2019 and the way they are implementing it nationally.
Alongside growing concern in the United States and Canada about the conditions imposed on libraries looking to lend eBooks, there are also efforts to reduce dependency on third party distributors by building 'library-controlled' platforms. We interviewed Jessica Want, Director, Digital Products at New York Public Library to find out about one major initiative - Library Simplified. One such effort is Library Simplified, a collaboration between New York Public Library, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), and Lyrasis.
The third and final WIPO regional seminar on exceptions and limitations took place in Santo Domingo on 4-5 July. It looked into the copyright rules that define whether libraries, archives, museums, and education and research institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean can do their jobs. IFLA was there to promote the need for international action.
African countries have very different copyright laws, all at various stages of development and/or review. Some countries have very outdated copyright laws, whilst others have amended their copyright laws more recently, or are in the process of reviewing them, for example, Kenya and South Africa. IFLA and partner organisations advocated for adequate and balanced copyright laws for libraries, archives, museums, research and education at the WIPO regional seminar for the African region.
European Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market: what it is about and why libraries should care18 June 2019
On 17 May 2019, after several years of discussion, the European Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market was published in the official journal of the European Union. It enters into force on 20 June 2019, which marks the beginning of a two-year period for member states to change their laws in order to meet the objectives of the directive.