[A2k] WIPO CDIP/7--Library Copyright Alliance Statement

Pilch, Janice T pilch at illinois.edu
Tue May 3 15:11:19 PDT 2011

Below is the statement given today by the Library Copyright Alliance at the meeting of the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property in Geneva. 

Best wishes,

Janice Pilch

GENEVA, 2-6 MAY 2011
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the Library Copyright Alliance, which represents over 139,000 academic, research and public libraries in the United States that provide library services and promote the public interest. We congratulate you on your reelection as chair of this committee. Our comments relate to copyright issues.
We appreciate the substantial efforts being made to implement the Development Agenda, as outlined in the Director General’s Report [CDIP/7/2]. The quantity of projects and the extensive documentation is evidence of the strategic priority of this work within WIPO’s larger agenda. We particularly appreciate the efforts being made to enhance the participation of civil society in Development Agenda initiatives. This greatly increases understanding and has benefits for all stakeholders in the IP system. We also commend the excellent Scoping Study on Copyright and Related Rights and the Public Domain [CDIP/7/INF/2].
As the committee continues its implementation of the work program, we urge Member States to focus on qualitative social and cultural change that can result from enhanced flexibilities in national copyright laws. Within the numerous implementation projects, we need to ensure that, with respect to the diffusion of information and creative content, we are doing everything possible to create change that effectively meets the needs of information users in developing nations into the future. We suggest that it might be time to accelerate efforts to increase limitations, exceptions and other flexibilities in national laws through a concrete initiative in this committee, and also to consider an evaluation of actual change across national laws as a CDIP project. 
We also need to ensure that public policy principles that are integral to the Berne Convention and other international treaties are incorporated into private contracts relating to information. If, as seems likely, the copyright system will adapt to the “multi-jurisdictional world of the Internet” by expanding into a global licensing infrastructure for digital information, as Director General Francis Gurry has indicated in recent months, then global norms related to private contract need to be established to ensure that the public policy of copyright law is brought into licensing regimes. We encourage Member States to open a discussion of limitations to contract law, to bring public policy into the licensing mechanisms of the future.
The issue of mainstreaming the Development Agenda is critical in 2011-12, as the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights advances its agenda on copyright limitations and exceptions. We urge the CDIP to contribute to the work of the SCCR toward new normative solutions for copyright and licensing that strengthen flexibilities in the national laws of developing and least developed nations, recognizing that this is an urgent need. 
We believe that the most important responsibility of both committees at this time is the establishment of copyright limitations and exceptions to enable those with print disabilities to read; to create an environment where libraries and archives can fulfill their responsibility to society for collecting, organizing, preserving, and making available information; and to enable educational and research institutions to perform their lawful activity in the global information society. We urge Member States to reinforce this effort as a fundamental commitment of the Development Agenda.
Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to present our comments at this meeting.
2 May 2011
Janice T. Pilch
Library Copyright Alliance
E-mail: pilch at illinois.edu


Janice T. Pilch
Associate Professor of Library Administration,
Humanities Librarian
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University Library
1408 West Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801
Tel. (217) 244-9399
Email: pilch at illinois.edu

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