AIPPI’s Standing Committee on Copyright at WIPO in Geneva

by Jan Bernd Nordemann (Chair of AIPPI’s Standing Committee on Copyright) & Matthias Gottschalk (Secretary of AIPPI’s Standing Committee on Copyright)

May libraries digitize the books they have in their shelves? May they send an electronic copy to a cooperating library, if a researcher would like to read it there? May universities provide electronic copies of books to their students on their intranet? And what about the business model for authors and publishers in such a modern digital world? The digital era has created new possibilities for libraries and archives, but also for educational and research institutes. Such uses do not stop at national borders. But still, international copyright is struggling to find a fair balance between user’s and owner’s interests, while some national and regional copyright regimes have already adopted to the digital world. In Rio 2015, AIPPI tried to give international copyright law the direction in its Resolution Q246 “Exceptions and limitations to copyright protection to libraries, archives and research institutions”.

In international copyright law, WIPO is the forum to discuss harmonization between its member states. On September 6, 2016 members of the AIPPI’s Standing Committee on Copyright had a meeting with the WIPO’s Copyright Division in Geneva. Jan Nordemann (GER, Chair), Matthias Gottschalk (CH, Secretary), Diana Ivanova (BLR) and Giorgio Mondini (IT) visited Michele Jordan Woods, Director of the Copyright Law Division at WIPO and members of her team. In a friendly and constructive meeting, the members of the AIPPI Standing Committee on Copyright took the opportunity to introduce the work of AIPPI.

The Standing Committee presented to WIPO the Resolution regarding “Exceptions and Limitations to copyright protection for libraries, archives and educational and research institutions”, as it was accepted in its final form during the 2015 AIPPI congress in Rio. Currently, these topics are also discussed in WIPO’s Standing Committee on Copyright and related Rights (SCCR), which meets twice a year in Geneva.

Beyond AIPPI’s resolution Q246, both WIPO and AIPPI discussed during the meeting various opportunities to collaborate more closely in the near future. One possibility discussed related to hosting a side event by AIPPI during one of the next upcoming SCCR sessions. Also, the WIPO copyright law division was very interested in being informed about future congresses and other AIPPI activities, even not related to the current agenda of the WIPO Standing Copyright Committee sessions. Both the WIPO Copyright Law Division and the AIPPI Copyright Standing Committee agreed to improve and intensify the collaboration in the future.