Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

WIPO Copyright Cmte. considers limitations & exemptions

The World Intellectual Property Organization's Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights is meeting in Geneva on March 10-12. Included on the agenda was a discussion of exemptions and limitations to copyright.

The basis for discussions on the item was a proposal by Brazil, Chile, Nicaragua and Uruguay. According to the latest notes by Knowledge Ecology International, some aspects of the proposal were approved:
  • ... The [WIPO] Secretariat was requested to make, in addition of the existing study reports, a study on exceptions and limitations for the benefit of educational activities, including distance education and the trans-border aspect in it.
  • The Secretariat was requested to organize, in conjunction with the next session of the SCCR, an informative session on existing and forthcoming studies.
  • The Committee will prepare a more detailed work plan on this item in its next session.
  • The matter will be maintained on the agenda of the next session of the SCCR. ...
See also coverage at Intellectual Property Watch (1 and 2), blog notes by Sherwin Siy of Public Knowledge (1 and 2) and Manon Ress of KEI, and observer statements by KEI, European Digital Rights, Electronic Information for Libraries, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, and Library Copyright Alliance. See especially the EFF and LCA statements for a discussion of potential impacts for access to knowledge.

KEI's James Love reports that a group of WIPO members, led by the EU countries, seeks to load up the agenda at future Copyright Committee meetings, in an apparent effort to distract focus from progress on limitations & exemptions.

For background on the context of limitations & exemptions and their relationship with access to knowledge, see my OAN post from March 8.

Update. A group of developed countries, led by the United States, has announced its opposition to any norm-setting activities for limitations & exemptions, according to James Love and Manon Ress of KEI.

Update. See also the statement by Consumers International and a final update by James Love.

Update. See also the closing summary from Intellectual Property Watch.

Update. See also the statement by the International Federation of Library Associations.

Update. See also the coverage by SUNS (1 and 2).

Update. See also the coverage by Robin Gross of IP Justice. Update. See also the official conclusions of the session and the background on the issue by Thiru Balasubramaniam of KEI.