Copyright, together with other intellectual property rights, seeks to promote creativity and innovation by giving the creator or rightsholder a monopoly of rights, or exclusive rights over the work.

Whereas a certain degree of protection might be needed, excessive protection has counterproductive consequences. Instead of fostering creativity, it risks stopping it. More protection is likely to mean less access and re-use by the end-user, and therefore less benefit by society.

The 5th Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest (American University, Washington D.C., September 27-29) will bring together many stakeholders interested in the intersection between these two matters.

Libraries, who have a mission to provide democratic and equitable access to information, are strong defenders of such balance. 

In order to underline the role that libraries play in shaping fair copyright laws worldwide, IFLA will lead a workshop entitled “Out of the Stacks: A World Tour of Library, Archive and Museum Copyright Reform”.

A panel composed of Teresa Hackett (EIFL), Evelin Heidel (Creative Commons), Mariana Valente (InternetLab), Jean Dryden (ICA) and Paul Keller (Kennisland/Communia) will give an update on current copyright reforms relevant to libraries, archives and museums, from different regional and national perspectives. Because cooperation and coordination are key in to push for the right copyright reforms, the workshop will encourage sharing of information and reflection on joint action around advocacy for better copyright for our institutions.

If you are at the Global Congress, join the discussion on Thursday 27 September, 1pm – 1:50 pm (room AUWCL YT15), or tweet about #Copyright4Libraries.