Creators urge EU Balanced Position on International Copyright

Copyright Advocacy

In an open letter, 18 creator organisations have asked the European Union to support clarification of the mandate for the committee of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) reviewing international standards for copyright protection.

The letter follows the inconclusive ending of the recent meeting of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCRR). The agenda for the meeting included: a proposed treaty for broadcasting organisations, and proposals for treaties on exceptions for libraries and archives, educational institutions, and people with disabilities other than visual impairment (a new treaty for people with visual impairment was finalised in June 2013).

There are different views about the case for new treaties on exceptions, given that existing treaties (such as the Berne Convention) already allow for exceptions.

Proponents for new treaties argue that a treaty is necessary to regulate cross-border supply of copyright content (e.g. from a library in one country to another).

Opponents argue that the issues raised by representatives of libraries and educational institutions can be addressed through national legislation under the existing international treaty arrangements. For example, Australian libraries take the view that the library provisions in Australia’s Copyright Act allow them to supply material from their collections to libraries in other countries.

The open letter argues that the preferred approach should be to undertake an exchange of national experiences and technical cooperation based on the existing international copyright framework, which would also allow for appropriate and balanced copyright limitations and exceptions.

The 18 signatory organisations are:

  • Australian Copyright Council (ACC)
  • CISAC (Confédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Auteurs et Compositeurs)
  • European Visual Artists (EVA)
  • European Writers Council (EWC)
  • FIA (International Federation of Actors
  • Federation of European Publishers (FEP)
  • GESAC (European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers)
  • IFRRO (International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations)
  • IFPI representing the recording industry worldwide
  • International Confederation of Music Publishers (ICMP)
  • International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF)
  • International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), International Federation of Musicians (FIM)
  • International Publishers Association (IPA)
  • International Video Federation (IVF)
  • Motion Picture Association (MPA)
  • International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical publishers (STM)
  • UNI Global Union – Media, Entertainment and Arts.

The next SCRR meeting is 30 June to 4 July 2014.

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