Joint Statement from LCA, eIFL and IFLA at the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property

Janice Pilch and Teresa Hacket made a joint statement on behalf of Electronic Information for Libraries (eIFL), the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) at the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property in Geneva 27 April – 1 May 2009. In the intervention, the associations stated:

We welcome the emphasis on use of legal options and flexibilities, including the work of the SCCR on limitations and exceptions for the visually impaired, for libraries and archives, and for education, and the workshop organized by WIPO on digital preservation and copyright held in July 2008, that revealed an urgent global need for copyright exceptions to enable library preservation of cultural heritage and memory, especially in developing nations.
Pilch and Hacket continued with comments on the development agenda:
Activities focused primarily on IP protections and  IP culture, for example, are not necessarily development-oriented. Such efforts likely benefit rightholders in developed nations, and while they may also benefit a limited segment of the populations in developing nations (private interests), they do not address the broader interests of developing societies. There is little evidence that the placement of the adjective “development” in these descriptions will result in the kind of change needed.

The associations “strongly support work that contributes to a better understanding of the public domain…[and] we must be mindful that the purpose of this activity should be for facilitating access for the public and not for monetizing content to create new markets for the private sector… .” Also, the associations encouraged the creation of a study to examine core limitations and exceptions, and offered support from the library community in drafting such a study.

Read the entire statement here.

Jacob Roberts is the communications specialist for the ALA Washington Office.

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