Intervention by the International Authors Forum at the SCCR35 on Libraries and Archives

Luke AlcottWIPO

As the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) held the 35th session of its Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), Maureen Duffy spoke on behalf of the IAF to give the authors view on copyright exceptions with regards to libraries and archives.

WIPO is a special agency of the United Nations dealing with copyright at an international level. The SCCR includes government representatives of the 188 UN Member States.

The full statement is as follows.

The International Authors Forum represents authors from the text, screenwriting and visual arts sectors and their interests in copyright. Our members are 59 organisations representing well over 600,000 authors worldwide.

Libraries and archives play an essential role in ensuring the preservation and availability of knowledge, culture and heritage. Authors around the world are proud their work contributes to this. Authors want the widest possible lawful access to their work and recognise the institutions vital to encouraging access for all, while achieving this, a balance must be struck to allow authors proper remuneration for their work.

Preservation and encouragement of diversity is essential. Ultimately it is authors work that is being discussed at WIPO. All countries and cultures produce authors whose rights must have primary consideration.

Before considering any significant changes to limitations and exceptions, care should be taken to honor international copyright provisions that enable and encourage licensing and compensatory frameworks. It is also important that with technology making it easier to create copies this should not lead to copying without remuneration beyond the intent of these exceptions.

In no country are authors able to work and create when they are denied remuneration or inadequately paid. It is vital to the ongoing work of authors that even the best intentioned exceptions to copyright must not disadvantage the right of authors to seek a living from their work.

Authors believe that a robust set of provisions exist in most countries with sufficient flexibility for countries to work towards library and archives solutions. Licensing frameworks can be adapted to local needs and best practice examples exist modelling a balance between remuneration and access.