[OpenGLAM] Fwd: [Open-access] EU blocks WIPO case for improved international copyright legislation (Was: RE: [open-science] Elsevier: some facts, by Tim Gowers)

Lieke Ploeger lieke.ploeger at okfn.org
Fri May 9 10:31:57 UTC 2014

Dear all,

Last week discussions by the World Intellectual Property Organisation
(WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright & Related Rights (SCCR) broke down
after the European Union (EU) attempted to block future discussion of
copyright laws to aid libraries and archives fulfill their missions in the
digital environment.

A press release detailing the matter is included below: the attachments
mentioned in the message, as well as further background information are
available from http://www.ifla.org/node/8600.

As Susan writes below, any help in circulating this news and press release
in your countries is valuable for increasing awareness amongst policy
makers on these issues.

Best regards, Lieke Ploeger.

Lieke Ploeger

Community Manager  | skype: laploeger  |

The Open Knowledge Foundation <http://okfn.org/>

Empowering through Open Knowledge
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-------- Original Message --------

*Subject: *

MEDIA RELEASE: EU Rejects International Solution to Library and Archive
Copyright Problems; Causes Collapse of WIPO Meeting

*Date: *

Tue, 6 May 2014 09:31:36 +0000

*From: *

Susan Reilly <Susan.Reilly at KB.NL> <Susan.Reilly at KB.NL>

*Reply-To: *

Susan Reilly <Susan.Reilly at KB.NL> <Susan.Reilly at KB.NL>

*To: *


 Dear colleagues,

Attached is a joint press release from library and archive organisations on
last week’s failed talks at WIPO on exceptions and limitations for
libraries and archives.

LIBER was present to highlight the copyright problems faced by European
research libraries, particularly in relations to cross border activity,
mass digitisation, contracts, and copyright issues related to text and data

It was made clear by the EU representatives that they did not support an
international legal instrument that would alleviate the copyright problems
that libraries and archives face and this position led to to breakdown in
discussions. This is a very disappointing outcome for libraries in Europe.

| would like to ask you to circulate the attached press release as widely
as possible within your own countries so that we can increase awareness
amongst national policy makers of the need to support international
solutions to the problems libraries face in providing access to information
and supporting education, research and innovation.

Kind regards,



Tuesday 6 May 2014

*Discussions by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)
Standing Committee on Copyright & Related Rights (SCCR) broke down in the
early hours of Saturday morning 3 May, after the European Union (EU)
attempted to block future discussion of copyright laws to aid libraries and
archives fulfill their missions in the digital environment.*

Library and archive delegations from Europe, Latin America, Australia, the
United States, Canada and the UK attended the 27th meeting of the SCCR from
28 April – 2 May 3014, to push for an international treaty to help
libraries and archives preserve cultural heritage, facilitate access to
essential information by people wherever they are in the world.

The meeting ended in disarray at 1:30am on Saturday morning, after the EU
tried to have crucial references to “text-based” work on copyright
exceptions removed from the meeting conclusions - a move viewed by other
Member States and library and archive NGOs present as an attempt to delay,
if not derail, any progress on copyright exceptions at WIPO.

Dr. Stuart Hamilton, Deputy Secretary General of the *International
Federation of Library Associations & Institutions (IFLA)* commented:

*“For the past three years, Member States have been looking at draft texts
on copyright exceptions for libraries and archives. The EU is now trying to
pretend these don’t exist. We’re frustrated, and deeply disappointed. It
appears the EU came to WIPO with one goal in mind: to kill the discussion.”

The EU’s attempt to sideline discussion of copyright exceptions at WIPO is
particularly concerning in light of the ongoing review of copyright laws at
the EU level.

Dr Paul Ayris, President of LIBER, the *Association of European Research
Libraries*, expressed his disappointment:

*“The position taken by the EU delegation in Geneva contrasts strongly with
current discussions at European level, where it has been recognised that
copyright exceptions for libraries are essential, and must be harmonised in
order to facilitate international research and innovation in the age of
Science 2.0.  The conservative position taken at SCCR 27 in Geneva this
week is therefore deeply disappointing. It does not support research and
education and hampers European researchers in their use of new tools and

The SCCR has been discussing a possible legal instrument to safeguard
copyright exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives since 2009.
It is due to submit recommendations to the WIPO General Assembly in
September 2014.

“*We must act now, and engage at WIPO to make sure the EU and other
developed countries know just how inadequate copyright laws are for
libraries and archives in the digital, global world,” *said Dr. Stuart

*A full list of quotes from organisations is included in a separate
attachment. For general enquiries:*

Ellen Broad

Manager, Digital Projects & Policy (IFLA)

Ellen.broad at ifla.org
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