24 June 2015

Licensing not the answer: IFLA seeks minimum exceptions at WIPO SCCR

Next week, the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)will once again meet to discuss exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives. IFLA and international partners will advocate for minimum standards for copyright exceptions and limitations, seeking to address cross-border challengesin the digital world and solutions that will stop license terms from overriding exceptions established in copyright law.

In preparation for the 30th session of SCCR, Dr Kenneth Crews has presented a consolidation of his 2008 and 2014 reports: Study on Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives that demonstrates the continued need for international action to protect the rights of users of libraries and archives. The study covers the legislation of the 188 WIPO member countries, noting that 32 countries still have no library exceptions.

In addition, while revisions to copyright have taken place in some member countries, the study shows that changes have not always improved the situation for libraries – for example, 26 countries have introduced prohibitions for circumventing technical protection measures since 2008, but only 14 have included exemptions that allow libraries to bypass provisions for permitted uses.

IFLA hosting side event 

IFLA will host a side event Libraries and Archives: Information without Borders, on the 30th of June. The side event will look at how digital information is held behind national barriers by a dizzying array of copyright exceptions and limitations and by restrictive licenses, and how copyright exceptions and limitations can better support the delivery of services in the public interest to facilitate research, innovation, and creativity. The event will be moderated by Winston Tabb, Head of the IFLA delegation and Dean of University Libraries and Museums, The Johns Hopkins University (US). Speakers will include Vincent Bonnet, Director, European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA); Teresa Hackett, Copyright and Libraries Programme Manager, Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL); William J. Maher, Society of American Archivists (SAA) and University Archivist, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Benjamin White, Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche (LIBER) and Head of Intellectual Property, The British Library.

Follow the discussions on social media using the hash tag #SCCR30.

Find out more about IFLA’s work on exceptions and limitations for libraries and the work of the Committee on Copyright and other Legal matters.

Copyright, SCCR, WIPO

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