[A2k] KEI: WIPO should update 1976 Tunis Model Law on Copyright for Developing Countries

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Wed Nov 20 09:06:13 PST 2013


Intervention of Knowledge Ecology International to CDIP 12

Thank you your Excellency,

As this is the first time Knowledge Ecology International is taking the
floor, we congratulate you on your re-election as chair.

As this Committee considers project CDIP/12/9 on an Implementation Proposal
on Possible New WIPO Activities Related to Using Copyright to Promote
Access to Information and Creative Content, we would draw the Committee’s
attention to an initiative jointly convened in 1976 by UNESCO and WIPO -
the Tunis Model Law on Copyright for Developing Countries.[1]

We take note of the core objectives of this project (CDIP/12/9) namely, to

Gather information and explore the potential of the copyright system, its
flexibilities and different models for managing copyright for enhancing
access to knowledge

Conduct an interdisciplinary evaluation of opportunities for WIPO, within
its mandate, to engage in new activities that help Member States achieve
their development goals through enhancing access to knowledge.

KEI proposes that as part of its future implementation of this project,
WIPO undertake a scoping study to ascertain the feasibility of producing an
update of the Tunis Model Law adapted for the digital environment. This
1976 model law, drafted by experts at the behest of member states of WIPO
and UNESCO, sought to provide a Berne-consistent template for developing
countries that could accommodate both the common law and civil law

The 1976 Tunis Model Law addressed a number of the most important issues in
copyright, including issues such as the protection of folklore, and
limitations and exceptions to rights, such as those in Section 7, entitled
“Fair use,” Section 3 on “Works not protected,” or Section 10 on the
limitation of the right of translation and proposed language on the
treatment of domaine public payant in Section 17. The Model Law provided a
foundation for the protection of author’s rights, including extensive
provisions on licensing of works and enforcement of rights.

While the 1976 Tunis Model Law was useful, much has happened in the last 37
years, and it seems appropriate to consider an update of this soft law

In considering possible revisions of the 1976 Model Law, we would recommend
WIPO examine the areas where a model act would be particularly useful,
including, for example, as regards the implementation of copyright
limitations and exceptions that address the special concerns of developing
countries, and which take into account new developments of international
law, including the norms contained in the WTO TRIPS Agreement, the 1996
WIPO Internet treaties, and the Beijing and Marrakesh treaties.

Among other topics, there would be an opportunity to draft model provisions
that would address copyright limitations and exceptions for education and
research, including those institutions like libraries and archives that
support education and research, distance education delivered cross border,
access to orphaned copyrighted works, more timely exceptions for
translation, and systems of liability rules to address a variety of
concerns regard access to cultural works, consistent with addressing the
legitimate interests of suppliers of knowledge and cultural works.

In this regard, we note that Article 44.2 of the TRIPS and the WTO TRIPS
exception for least developed countries provide possibilities for new ways
of implementing copyright exceptions, including some of the approaches
explored in the proposals for exceptions put forth by the Africa Group in
the SCCR.

[1] Tunis Model Law on Copyright for Developing Countries (1976) Arabic,
English, French, Portuguese and Spanish Other languages available upon
request at r.sy at unesco.org (11/01/13)

James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
http://www.keionline.org, KEI DC tel: +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile:
+1.202.361.3040, Geneva Mobile: +41.76.413.6584,   twitter.com/jamie_love

More information about the A2k mailing list