19 November 2012
Start of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights 25 (SCCR25) - 19th November 2012
The 25th meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) started today, Monday 19th November, in Geneva, Switzerland. The main focus of the meeting will be whether or not Member States can agree on a treaty text that would allow visually impaired and other print disabled people to share their collections of accessible books cross-border and with same-language groups around the world. IFLA is a supporter of the push for a treaty and hopes that libraries can play an important supportive role in any treaty framework that emerges from this week’s meeting. The SCCR will also spend time discussing exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives, although the focus on the visually impaired treaty will naturally take up the majority of the Committee’s time. The SCCR will also spend time discussing the latest document on exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives (SCCR24/8), although the focus on the visually impaired treaty will naturally take up the majority of the Committee’s time.
The meeting began this morning and was quickly adjourned to allow Member States to begin informal discussions regarding the unsettled portions of the latest document on the table, SCCR/25/REF/REVWKGDOC. Member State delegations will work intensively this week in sessions lasting until 9pm to try to finalise a text that can be carried forward to an extraordinary WIPO General Assembly in December. If the General Assembly agrees, a diplomatic conference on a treaty will be held next year. As libraries provide accessible format material to visually impaired users in both developed and developing countries, - and are sometimes the only locations where users can find it - it is clearly crucial that they are free to continue this role as a result of any treaty. IFLA representatives will therefore be in attendance at WIPO throughout the discussions to make themselves available to delegates should clarification be needed on any issues relating to libraries.
The IFLA delegation at the meeting is led by Winston Tabb, with members of IFLA’s Copyright and other Legal Matters Committee, Governing Board and HQ staff in attendance.
More information on IFLA's advocacy can be foun on the Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries & Archives pages.