WIPO headquarters at night


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.

This event provided an overview of the Organization’s achievements, strategies and plans for the coming year. IFLA was present to support the needs and priorities of libraries around the world. 

The Marrakesh Treaty

Member States welcomed progress on the Marrakesh Treaty, which now has 88 states parties. This international instrument has enabled the creation and exchange of books in accessible formats for people with visual impairments.

IFLA welcomed the work already done on the exchange platforms and the support of the Accessible Book Consortium, but noted the ongoing need to ensure that the Treaty is implemented properly. 

Preparation of the international conference on exceptions and limitations

For several years, WIPO has been working on the issue of exceptions and limitations to copyright for libraries, archives, and museums, as well as education and research.

From 18 to 19 October 2019, an international conference on exceptions and limitations to copyright will be held with a view to discussing how best to meet the needs of these institutions. We hope to enable the development of international action to enable libraries to continue their public service missions on heritage conservation, access to research and information and dissemination.

The Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) will follow the conference on exceptions and limitations. This committee examines questions of substantive law in the field of copyright and related rights, and will take decisions about next steps.

IFLA is committed to representing its members to member states, particularly on copyright laws for libraries, by promoting the importance of sustainable access to information in achieving development objectives.