Annual report 2005

January 1st - December 31st 2005

CLM was established to advise IFLA and its constituent groups with respect to copyright and intellectual property, economic barriers to the acquisition and use of library materials, trade agreements affecting library services, disputed claims of ownership of library materials, authenticity of electronic texts, subscriptions and license agreements, and other legal matters of international significance to libraries and librarianship.

The membership of the Committee representative of all regions of the world.

In 2005 CLM had 20 members from 19 countries as well as 7 resource persons who provide expertise in areas of particular interest to IFLA. CLM's Executive Board comprises six members, including Vinyet Panyella of Spain, who serves as the Executive Board's liaison to the IFLA Governing Board. CLM's work is immeasurably aided by our liaisons from several key organizations: the World Blind Union, eIFL and EBLIDA. Teresa Hackett, representing eIFL, has made an extraordinary contribution to CLM through her active participation in numerous meetings in Geneva designed to promote WIPO's development agenda. Our work with David Mann of the World Blind Union and the IFLA Libraries for the Blind Section is described below.

CLM in Oslo

CLM held two formal business meetings during the IFLA World Congress in Oslo. In addition to discussing the programs planned for the Oslo and future Congresses, CLM addressed copyright issues relating to the blind and other print-disabled readers, finalized plans for making a special effort to spur the establishment of copyright committees within all of IFLA's national association members, and received an update on various recent copyright developments within the European Union.

The Chair presented the biennial report of CLM's accomplishments to the IFLA Council, and reported on the actions taken by CLM with regard to Public Lending Right (see below)by the Governing Board at its March 2005 meeting The Hague.

CLM sponsored two very-well attended programs in Oslo. The first sought to update attendees on the very active involvement IFLA maintained during the previous year on the advancement of the "development agenda" within WIPO.

Following an introduction by the Chair, Winston Tabb (USA), Barbara Stratton (UK) and Teresa Hackett (eIFL) discussed the substance and processes involved in creating and promoting the Access to Knowledge (A2K) treaty within the WIPO framework Geidy Lung (WIPO) gave the view from the WIPO Secretariat's vantage point. Then Robert Oakley (USA) summarized for the audience the "Library-related Principles" for the development agenda that have been endorsed by IFLA and a number of international and national library associations.

These presentations were then followed by a very lively series of conversations as attendees were divided into small discussion groups, each led by CLM members, to discuss the role librarians can play in the global A2K initiative, core principles that should guide libraries in seeking copyright legislation, specific provisions needed in intellectual property laws and treaties to enable libraries to fulfill their special roles in the information society, and any success stories that might be helpful to colleagues in other countries as to well as to IFLA representatives seeking to advance the cause of libraries at WIPO and WTO. This program was quite successful in giving CLM members a grass-roots view of the real challenges increasingly restrictive intellectual property laws and treaties present to librarians throughout the world as they strive to provide responsive user service.

The second CLM program in Oslo was designed to make librarians more aware of how Free Trade Agreements (FTA's) are affecting libraries. Organized and introduced by Eve Woodberry (AUSTRALIA), the program featured presentations by Maximiliano Santa Cruz, Chile's delegate to WTO on the framework for FTA's: Kjell Nillson (SWEDEN) on possible implications for libraries of both the GATS and proposed European Services Directive and Denise Nicholson (SOUTH AFRICA) on the implication of FTA's and TRIPS-plus agreements for developing countries.

Public Lending Right

In response to a directive from the Governing Board, based on a resolution passed by the IFLA Council in Buenos Aires, the Chair of CLM asked CLM member Barbara Stratton (UK) to prepare a draft response for consideration by the Governing Board at its March 2005 meeting in The Hague. The Governing Board approved the report, which established as principles that "IFLA does not favour the principles of 'lending right', which can jeopardize free access to the services of publicly accessible libraries, which is the citizen's human right" and that "public lending is essential to culture and education and should be freely available to all." Nevertheless, recognizing that some countries do have, or may be likely to introduce, public lending right, the report also emphasizes that in such cases "financial and administrative support for PLR does not come from library budgets, but from the State as cultural support." The full report can be found at: The IFLA Position on Public Lending Right (2005).


CLM's already active involvement with WIPO became even more intense during 2005, as various CLM members and liaisons attended and participated in numerous meetings designed to further the development agenda within WIPO. In February, IFLA co-sponsored (with CPTech) an idea-generation session on the development agenda. An especially important feature of this meeting was the presentation by CLM resource person, Bob Oakley (USA) of the Library-Related Principles for WIPO's Development Agenda which had been drafted by the US library associations.

These principles, which were subsequently endorsed by IFLA and many other international and national library association, and which have now been translated into about a dozen languages, have served as excellent guidance as CLM representatives have worked with other NGOs to ensure that library users' needs are taken into account as WIPO moves forward fitfully to consider how needs of developing countries can be better addressed within the international intellectual property community. Altogether in 2005 IFLA representatives participated in 11 meetings relating directly or indirectly to the development agenda, mainly in Geneva, but also in London. In addition, CLM members participated in UNESCO meetings in Paris focused both on copyright and the cultural diversity convention. In December, the Chair and Eve Woodberry (AUSTRALIA) represented IFLA at the 6th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization in Hong Kong.

While it is difficult to document and quantify the impact of such activities, it is gratifying that libraries are now understood to be logical participants in WIPO's deliberations and expected to be involved. In that regard we were pleased that IFLA was invited to make a presentation at the May International Seminar on Intellectual Property and Development (Teresa Hackett made the presentation) and to participate in the November information meeting on Educational Content and Copyright in the Digital Age.

The Chair and Teresa Hackett we also pleased in the fall to have an opportunity to meet privately with WIPO's Deputy Secretary General for Copyright and her staff to discuss ways in which IFLA and WIPO could collaborate more productively. Among the issues discussed were ways in which IFLA could help identify appropriate speakers for regional seminars and advise on exceptions and limitations for libraries in the draft laws WIPO creates for member nations. We also discussed the possibility of IFLA's arranging an annual "cross-sectoral" meeting with WIPO secretariat staff to update them on intellectual property issues of current concern to libraries.

Access for Print-disabled Persons

CLM was pleased to work closely during 2005 with the World Blind Union and IFLA's Libraries for the Blind Section on encouraging both WIPO and individual nations to remove existing legal barriers to access for print-disabled persons. In November, the Chairs of the Libraries for the Blind Section and CLM jointly wrote to every IFLA national association member enlisting their help in a coordinated national campaign for the benefit of print-disabled people. In particular we urged librarians in each country to ensure that national legislation permits them to reproduce materials for print-disabled people "in an alternative manner or form which enables their perception of the work" and to export or import works for the same purposes. The Chair was gratified by the number of responses received - some requesting further information and assistance, others updating CLM on the status of such legislation within their countries.

Relations with National Library Associations

While IFLA has made progress in establishing a role for libraries at WIPO, our representatives are only occasionally permitted to speak there and are never permitted to vote. Therefore, CLM determined at its meeting in Oslo that we need to make a more concerted effort to work more closely with copyright committees and/or copyright-trained staff in the national associations to provide information, encourage national associations to play an active role in their countries with regard to copyright and other legal matters facing libraries, alert them to forthcoming meetings that their government representatives will be participating in, and provide information that will enable them to become more knowledgable and effective advocates on these issues for libraries within their countries.

To that end the President of IFLA and Chair of CLM jointly wrote each national association member in September asking them to send us the name, title and contact details of the Chair of their copyright committee or work group, and the names of other members of such groups. While the response was not nearly so complete as we had hoped, the responses have enabled us to create a database of such information that we can use even now as we also work to expand the scope of coverage.

CLM Staff Support

As the Chair mentioned in the CLM Report to Council in Oslo, CLM has been hampered by having no staff support and uncertain funding from IFLA from its inception. All of the activities described above were undertaken by our volunteers at their expense or the expense of their home organizations. CLM members took care during 2005 to explain the need for staff support and to draw up a list of the necessary duties and qualifications. The Governing Board and Secretary General have been very responsive to this need, providing some funds for CLM support in 2005 and working with the Chair to determine ways of securing longer-term staff support at IFLA HQs as early as 2007. For this responsiveness and support, CLM is most grateful.

CLM (Committee on Copyright and other Legal Matters)

Last update: 27 January 2015