IFRRO Participates in the 43rd WIPO SCCR

Last week in Geneva, IFRRO Board Directors Samantha Holman, Anders Kristian Rasch, and Sandra Chastanet, along with representatives from Jamcopy / CARROSA Dianne Daley McClure, CEO and Philippa Davies, joined important discussions at the 43rd Session of WIPO's Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR).

For IFRRO the key topic of discussion at the SCCR is the question of exceptions and limitations for libraries and educational institutions.

In the opening of the discussion on exceptions and limitations, IFRRO’s Vice President, Samantha Holman, made a strong intervention highlighting that RROs are an important component of the copyright infrastructure in all of WIPO member countries, offering licensing solutions that enable access to content for education and libraries, including cross border solutions, at the same time providing remuneration for authors and publishers. 

As part of the discussion on exceptions and limitations, a presentation was made on a draft Toolkit on preservation issues, and a roundtable discussion on cross border education was also held. Dianne Daley McClure, representing CARROSA as part of the IFRRO delegation, made a powerful intervention highlighting the existence of regional licensing solutions for educational institutions in the Caribbean, also noting the inclusion of world-wide repertoire under the licence. In her statement, Dianne persuasively posited that such regional licences could become a model for cross-border licensing solutions in other regions around the world.

Discussions at this 43rd SCCR were very productive, and we felt IFRRO's position on exceptions and limitations was understood although more work needs to be done to progress the Preservation Toolkit towards a more balanced and nuanced resolution. 

A workplan has been agreed for further discussion of exceptions and limitations. The WIPO secretariat will now start preparing toolkits on access for libraries, museum and archives, and on access for educational and research institutions. IFRRO will of course work closely with our strategic partners, authors, and publishers to ensure that the toolkits prepared by the WIPO secretariat are balanced and reflect the importance of licensing in ensuring access and fair remuneration for authors and publishers.

In addition to the discussions on exceptions, it was agreed that the study on the Public Lending Right – proposed by Sierra Leone, Malawi and Panama, will now be prepared by the WIPO Secretariat. IFRRO, along with PLR International, has been a strong proponent of such a study to share information and we are delighted that it will now take place. 

A 3-day SCCR 44 has now been confirmed for the week of 6 November a day dedicated to discussions on Exceptions and Limitations, and IFRRO is committed to participating in these discussions. In the interim, we will continue to strongly advocate on behalf of our members, and report on any major developments.