The international Authors Forum attended the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR36) in Geneva during the week commencing 28th May 2018.
The SCCR36 agenda continued work of previous sessions with the Broadcasting Treaty, Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries & Archives, Limitations and Exceptions for Educational and research institutions and for persons with other disabilities and a range of proposals for further work, most importantly on the Artist’s Resale Right (ARR).
A lot of the work on Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries & Archives, Limitations and Exceptions for Educational and research institutions and for persons with other disabilities focused on establishing the Action Plans on Limitations and Exceptions through SCCR39.
On the potential permanent inclusion of ARR on the agenda of the SCCR at WIPO, the IAF gave strong support for its inclusion and also supported the establishment of a taskforce on this issue. The SCCR did not agree to add ARR to the agenda following reluctance from delegations from USA and Japan; however the ARR taskforce was approved. The IAF will monitor and engage with the development of the ARR taskforce going forward.
At a side event on education a variety of speakers advocated the extension of educational exceptions. This shows a continuing trend of NGOs becoming established at WIPO as observers with the intent to weaken copyright, the panel featured speakers who actually approved of the situation in Canada which has been so damaging to authors, in addition to arguing against the case of authors and their publishers in the New Delhi University and Georgia State University. In spite of this the IAF had the opportunity to speak to a range of member state delegations to make the case that educational licensing regularly forms an important part of the income of authors whose work is used in education. To ensure that authors can continue to create the work that people will access, we must ensure the author is rewarded fairly and with respect to their profession so that they can continue to create. If authors are not rewarded in the value chain of creation, the diversity, quality and quantity of works created will suffer.