[A2k] EIFL blog: EU copyright reform shows need for global reform

Teresa Hackett teresa.hackett at eifl.net
Wed Mar 27 10:03:27 PDT 2019

In the week in which a new copyright law for the digital cross-border
environment was adopted in Europe, the EU’s position at WIPO on global
copyright reforms looks increasingly strange.

Limitations and exceptions for libraries & archives and education have been
on the agenda at WIPO since 2011. Work on the topic has been extensive,
substantive and has enjoyed much support from most WIPO member states. But
two allied groups of member states, the European Union (EU) and the group
of Central European and Baltic States (CEBS), have resisted progress and
repeatedly opposed discussion on an international instrument concerning
limitations and exceptions for education, research, libraries, archives,
and museums.

However, a closer look at European copyright legislation, including the
Directive adopted by the European Parliament on 26 March 2019, demonstrates
that both blocs clearly recognize the inadequacy of the current
international framework to address barriers created by national copyrights
for cross-border activities by educational and cultural heritage
institutions. And they have addressed the problem through the adoption of
pan-European legislation. In other words, European copyright reforms
demonstrate the need for global copyright reform.

EIFL hopes that the upcoming session of WIPO’s copyright committee will
provide an opportunity for the EU and CEBS to share with the global
copyright community not only information about the new Directive, but also
the policy analysis that underpins the legislation for the benefit of all.

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