Annual Report 2007


The Committee on Copyright and Other Legal Matters (CLM) was created
by IFLA in 1997 to advise IFLA and its members not only on matters with
respect to copyright and other areas of intellectual property, but also
on economic and trade barriers to the acquisition and use of library
resources, disputed claims of ownership of library materials,
subscription and license agreements, and a wide range of other legal
matters of international significance to libraries and librarianship.
CLM works with and through national and regional library associations
and other NGO’s to ensure that IFLA’s core value of providing
"universal and equitable access to information, ideas and works of the
imagination" is sustained, and in particular focuses on IFLA’s
professional priority of "balancing the intellectual property rights of
authors with the needs of users."


The Committee comprises the chair and members from 27 countries,
nominated by their national library associations. In response to a call
for nominations for 4-year terms (2007-2011) issued in October 2006,
IFLA received 34 valid nominations from national library association
members. In March 2007 the Governing Board appointed new members to
4-year terms (2007-2011) and members being re-appointed to 2-year terms
(2007-2009.) In addition to appointed members, CLM relies on a small
group of expert resource persons who provide advice in various areas of
interest to the community. CLM has also established liaison
relationships with several organizations whose complementary missions
make them important partners for IFLA: eIFL, EBLIDA, the World Blind
Union, and the Library Copyright Alliance.

World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)

As CLM is entirely a volunteer-driven entity, with no dedicated
staff support through 2007, we have had to focus our energies on areas
where we felt CLM could have the greatest impact, and where threats to
our ability to preserve a balance between user and owner rights were
most alarming. Consequently, we have increased our already intense
involvement with WIPO in Geneva, where CLM representatives, often in
conjunction with colleagues from eIFL and the (US) Library Copyright
Alliance, participated actively in 6 meetings in 2007. Through written
and oral interventions [many of which are available on the CLM website],
collaboration with NGOs having similar goals, and aggressive advocacy
with representatives from Members States, we have achieved some notable
successes for libraries:

  1. Development Agenda. At meetings of the Provisional
    Committee on Proposals Related to a WIPO Development Agenda (PCDA) in
    February and June the delegates reached agreement on a series of
    proposals of immense importance to libraries - such as access to
    knowledge, exceptions and limitations for libraries and the importance
    of preserving the public domain. An especially important contribution
    from the library community was the paper jointly prepared by IFLA, eIFL
    and LCA on the public domain, which immediately became a reference
    point for many delegates. The PCDA recommendations were be taken up by
    the General Assemblies in September, and CLM representatives were
    present and worked hard to help ensure that the recommendations were
    adopted as part of WIPO’s future work plan. A key outcome was the
    establishment of a new, permanent Committee on Development and
    Intellectual Property, which is scheduled to meet in Geneva in March
  2. Broadcast Treaty. During recent years the single issue
    consuming most of the attention of WIPO’s Standing Committee on
    Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) was a proposed broadcast treaty. It
    is a challenge to describe exactly what the proposed treaty would have
    covered, as lack of transparency and agreement on this core issue led
    to impasses at every session. But IFLA’s opposition to the treaty was
    driven by the core principle that there should be no expansion of
    intellectual property protection unless those proposing it could
    demonstrate convincingly that it was solving a genuine problem and that
    it was in the public good. For a variety of reasons, the most important
    of which was the inability to reach the kind of consensus on which
    progress in WIPO depends, work on the broadcast treaty has been
    abandoned, at least for now, although it is likely to re-appear on
    future agendas of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related
  3. Traditional Knowledge. For several years WIPO has
    been investigating, through its Intergovernmental Committee on
    Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and
    Folklore (IGC), what kinds of protection should be given to folklore
    and other "traditional cultural expressions." These issues are of great
    important to libraries in all parts of the world as they raise
    questions very different from those we face in handling published
    materials - e.g., who "owns" expressions created over time by a
    community, what is a community, and should intellectual property
    protection be limited in duration or perpetual? While the CLM Chair was
    able to participate in the most recent of these sessions in July, IFLA
    volunteers have not been able to devote as much attention to this WIPO
    activity as we intend to in the future. To help acquaint IFLA members
    with these issues, CLM presented a programme on Traditional Knowledge
    at the Durban conference (see below).
  4. Relations with WIPO
    leaders. At each meeting in Geneva, representatives of CLM, eIFL and
    the LCA have attempted - often successfully - to schedule meetings with
    high-level WIPO administrators, not simply to acquaint them with our
    issues but to seek means for developing on-going engagement in
    substantive activities of WIPO. We were pleased to be given the
    opportunity to comment on WIPO’s draft "model law," and also welcome
    WIPO’s appointment of an attorney, Geidy Lung, to serve as a liaison
    with CLM. Most importantly, IFLA and eIFL have sought and been granted
    a high-level meeting in Geneva with the leaders of WIPO at which we
    will discuss issues of importance to libraries and our users and
    develop a plan for regular briefings on such issues for WIPO staff and
    for participation in the regional workshops WIPO convenes in various
    parts of the world each year. While we had hoped to schedule this
    high-level meeting in 2007, changes in the top leadership post at WIPO,
    announced in late 2007, caused us to put this meeting on hold pending
    the appointment of a new Director General of WIPO.

"Limitations and Exceptions" for Libraries and the Visually Impaired

Shortly after the Oslo World Congress in 2005, the Chairs of CLM and
IFLA’s Libraries for the Blind Section wrote to each of the IFLA
national associations encouraging them to join IFLA and the World Blind
Union (WBU) in persuading their governments to add to their national
copyright laws provisions from WIPO’s model copyright law that would
improve access to information for print-disabled people. Simultaneously
CLM worked with the WBU to encourage WIPO to undertake a comprehensive
study of limitations and exceptions for print-disabled people, which
was published earlier this year and can be found at Study on Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for the Visually Impaired.

We had also talked with IFLA staff about commissioning a similar
study concerning limitations and exceptions for libraries. Thus we were
very pleased when the WIPO liaison to CLM announced at our meeting in
Durban that WIPO had just commissioned such a study to be prepared in
2008 by Professor Kenny Crews, a librarian/attorney then at Indiana
University and now at Columbia University (USA). CLM members from a
number of countries have provided information and "case studies" that
will inform Professor Crews’ report, which WIPO expects to receive
around April 2008.

Durban World Congress

CLM held two formal business meetings during the IFLA World Congress
in Durban. In addition to discussing the programs planned for the
Durban and Quebec conferences, the committee received a report from
WIPO’s liaison to CLM as well as from CLM participants in WIPO
meetings, received a progress report with regard to the appointment of
a Senior Policy Adviser at IFLA headquarters, and discussed way of
maintaining better communications among members in the intervals
between face-to-face meetings. The bulk of CLMII was devoted to a
thorough review and updating of the CLM Action Plan (see below).

CLM sponsored two very well-attended programs in Durban. The first
focused on "Traditional Knowledge, Cultural Expressions and Folklore,"
a complicated topic for librarians but one on which CLM needs to
develop a position for its work with WIPO. We were fortunate to have
Wend Wendland, the member of the WIPO Secretariat who has had chief
responsibility for organizing the twelve sessions of the
Intergovernmental Committee addressing these issues, give an overview
both of the issues and of the WIPO program in this area. Mr. Wendland’s
excellent framing introduction was followed by three presentations
representing the constituencies most engaged with the traditional
cultural expressions debate: Ms. Natalie Sunker, presenting one
government’s (South Arica) approach to traditional knowledge; Mr.
Mattias Ahren, a member of the Saami Council (Norway), discussing the
issues from indigenous people’s perspectives; and Ms. Loriene Roy
(USA), the first Native American president of the American Library
Association, presenting a Native American librarian’s point of view.

The second CLM program in Durban, "Debunking Myths about Authors’
and Publishers’ Collecting Societies - the Good, the Bad and the Ugly,"
focused on the roles of Reproduction Rights Organizations (RROs) and
how they might better cooperate with libraries to achieve the balance
in copyright needed for both users and owners. Peter Shepherd, the
President of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights
Organizations (IFRRO), discussed what RROs are and what they do; the
librarian’s perspective was presented via a paper prepared by CLM
member, Victoria Owen (Canada). These introductory presentations were
followed by two case studies: Mr. Kondwani Wella (Malawi) described the
experience of a librarian in a developing country interacting with an
emerging RRO; and Eve Woodberry, CLM member (Australia), described the
productive way in which librarians and RRO members in Australia had
collaborated on the creation of a code of conduct for RROs.


The Durban progamme described above was planned not only because it
dealt with issues important for librarians in all countries, but also
as a prelude to an all-day session convened at the conclusion of the
Durban conference between leaders of IFRRO and IFLA. With IFLA
President Claudia Lux and IFRRO President Peter Shepherd as co-chairs,
members of CLM’s Executive Board joined with other IFLA representatives
to learn more about each other’s missions, values and goals in order to
determine whether mutual interests might lead to future collaboration.
The most concrete outcome of this information meeting was agreement
that IFLA and IFRRO would explore the possibility of partnering to
present a WIPO-sponsored workshop for librarians and publishers in
Latin America in 2008.

Action Plan

Members developed CLM’s first full-fledged action plan (attached).
The plan features four over-arching goals: to shape international
policies and practices in international copyright, intellectual
property, trade agreements and other legal matters that affect library
services to users; to support IFLA’s "Society Pillar" by developing an
effective advocacy program in support of libraries, librarians and
library users worldwide; to support IFLA’s "Members’ Pillar" by
providing exemplary programs, learning opportunities, and advice to
IFLA’s sections and members; and to manage CLM effectively within the
IFLA framework.


CLM members are very proud of our accomplishments, and the chair
wishes to give a special thank you to CILIP, eIFL, the State and
University Library in Denmark, and the Library Copyright Alliance for
supporting regular participation by their staff in WIPO meetings. But
much remains to be done! CLM is grateful to IFLA’s President, Secretary
General and Governing Board for the progress made in 2007 toward a plan
that will secure on-going staff support for IFLA’s advocacy efforts,
enabling CLM to contribute even more effectively to IFLA’s society
pillar. We ended 2007 full of optimism, knowing how much we had
accomplished during the year, and knowing that interviews for IFLA’s
first Senior Policy Adviser would occur early in 2008.

CLM (Committee on Copyright and other Legal Matters)

Last update: 5 October 2012