Equalizing relations between CMOs and libraries
Key issues remain in WIPO’s updated draft Good Practice Toolkit for Collective Management Organizations (CMOs)

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Source: Monash University Malaysia: https://www.monash.edu.my/library/services-facilities/computing/printing

EIFL teamed up with IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) and ICA (International Council on Archives) to submit additional comments to WIPO on the updated draft Good Practice Toolkit for Collective Management Organizations (CMOs).

We welcome the opportunity to send further comments to WIPO (the World Intellectual Property Organization) and appreciate that a number of concerns expressed in the previous consultation were taken into account in the updated version. However important issues remain outstanding and unless they can be addressed, our sector may not be in a position to recommend the Toolkit to the library and archive communities.

The updated draft WIPO Good Practice Toolkit covers topics such as the provision of information about the CMO and its operations, governance, financial administration and distribution of revenue, members' rights to fair treatment and the relationship between the CMO and licensees (such as libraries).

Outstanding issues

Examples of outstanding issues include the relationship between CMOs and governments (CMOs should be independent of government); CMOs and lobbying (rights revenue should not be used to lobby against the interests of libraries, archives and other CMO customers); clearing up confusion over use of the terms ‘Licensee’, ‘User’, and ‘general public’, and highlighting the importance of exceptions and limitations so that CMO licences for the use of protected works do not take away user freedoms under national copyright law, or overreach to works not suited to commercial licensing.

We hope the outstanding issues in the draft toolkit can be addressed and that the WIPO initiative to develop the toolkit will help raise the bar in building confidence and trust for all stakeholders in the copyright system.

CMOs are organizations that manage rights on behalf of authors, performing artists, producers and other rightsowners, and have an important part to play in the global copyright infrastructure. The type of CMO with which a library typically has the most dealings is a Reproduction Rights Organization (known as an RRO) that grants licences for the making of copies (photocopying and/or digital copies).

Next steps

WIPO’s expected schedule for publication of the Toolkit is as follows:

  • End October 2018: Publication in six UN languages
  • Post publication: Good practice training for CMOs, based on Toolkit and a 2 yearly update of examples in codes or legislation.


On 30 March 2018, EIFL submitted comments on the first version of the draft Toolkit. Read EIFL’s comments on the first version here.

On 31 May 2018, EIFL attended a consultation meeting organized by WIPO to answer questions on the draft Toolkit and to address comments from member states and observer organizations (such as EIFL). Slides from the meeting are available here.

The updated draft Good Practice Toolkit for Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) was released on 29 June 2018.

EIFL, IFLA and ICA submitted their comments on the updated draft toolkit on 31 August 2018.

Other reading: Cautionary Tales About Collective Rights Organizations, Part 2.