Three additional working days of WIPO’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) ended yesterday in Geneva with great progress made regarding copyright limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives. Delegates from WIPO’s Member States discussed the issues facing for libraries and archives.  During the discussions ten work  ‘clusters’ had been identified by member states:

  • Preservation
  • Right of reproduction and supply of copies
  • Legal deposit
  • Library lending
  • Parallel importation
  • Cross-border uses
  • Orphan works, retracted and withdrawn works
  • Liability of libraries and archives
  • Technological measures of protection
  • Contracts

Delegates made many positive interventions on behalf of libraries and archives and shared with each other examples of limitations and exceptions in their national laws, along with potential language for an instrument on the issue.

At the end of the three days the Chair of the SCCR, Manuel Guerra from Mexico, requested Member States to provide written comments by this Friday, with more substantial written comments on each cluster within two to three months. The formal conclusions of the meeting will be agreed at the end of SCCR/23 that will outline the next phase of the Committee’s work at the 24th meeting of the SCCR in March 2012. IFLA hopes that the SCCR will be in a position to submit recommendations on a binding instrument to the WIPO General Assemblies on limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives.

A substantial delegation of librarians and archivists representing IFLA, ICA, EIFL, CLA and LCA are attending the meeting in Geneva. Throughout the three days and beyond, this group are on hand to offer advice and technical assistance to Member States. Prior to the meeting IFLA members worked hard to approach copyright officials in their home countries and make them aware of the Treaty Proposal on Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives, prepared by IFLA, EIFL, ICA and Innovarte to provide guiding language for the SCCR’s discussions. Without the support of the IFLA membership, such a positive outcome would not have been possible.