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19 November 2010
“Unprecedented opportunity for libraries and archives” - WIPO to work on library and archive copyright exceptions
The 21st Session of the World Intellectual Property Organisation Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) took place in Geneva on November 8-12, 2010. At the meeting's conclusion the SCCR agreed a work plan for 2011/12 concerning copyright exceptions and limitations which not only takes forward the proposal by Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay and Mexico for the World Blind Union's (WBU) proposed ‘Treaty for Improved Access for Blind, Visually Impaired and other Reading Disabled Persons , but additionally allocates equal time for "text-based work on appropriate exceptions and limitations" for libraries and archives, educational, teaching and research institutions, and persons with other disabilities.
We welcome that all the issues concerning people with disabilities, libraries and archives, and education and research will be discussed by WIPO Member States. We are delighted that the WBU proposed Treaty will move forward next, followed by issues for libraries and archives, timetabled for three full days' discussion and formal consideration by Member States in November 2011.
WIPO has agreed on a work programme that could lead to an international treaty involving mandatory exceptions for the benefit of users of copyright works, heralding a new era for copyright in the 21st century.
Winston Tabb, Chair of IFLA's copyright committee (CLM) said "We have achieved an unprecedented opportunity for libraries and archives but there remains a huge amount of work to be done. Significant support from organisations within the library and archive community will be needed to ensure a successful outcome."
Teresa Hackett, EIFL-IP Programme Manager said "Our organisations have been playing a full part in SCCR to reach this point, since Chile first proposed an analysis of exceptions and limitations in 2004. We thank all the Member States that have shown great commitment to the needs of libraries and archives. We look forward to continue to working with them, as well as our friends in WBU and civil society to achieve timely results for all."
The library and archive delegation to SCCR/21 comprised the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) represented by Winston Tabb, Stuart Hamilton and Barbara Stratton (supported by CILIP, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, UK), Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) represented by Teresa Hackett and Kathy Matsika, the Chilean NGO, Innovarte Corporación, represented by Luis Villarroel, the (U.S.) Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) represented by Janice Pilch, the Canadian Library Association (CLA) represented by Victoria Owen, and the International Council on Archives (ICA), represented by Tim Padfield.
Stuart Hamilton, Senior Policy Advisor, IFLA
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