In our capacity of permanent observers of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, we have been attending the 36th session of the Committee, which is taking place in Geneva from 28 May to 1 June 2018.
The following is the statement made by Teresa Nobre on our behalf on agenda item 7 (Limitations and exceptions for educational and research institutions and for persons with other disabilities):
I’m speaking on behalf of COMMUNIA International Association on the Digital Public Domain.
We would like to start by thanking all the delegates for demonstrating their support for education throughout this SCCR. We would also like to thank the Chair for preparing the Draft Action Plan, and we have 2 suggestions to make regarding the planned actions.
The first is on the typology. We welcome the Chair’s proposal to synthesize, organise and classify the information contained in the study performed by Prof. Seng, and we would be pleased to offer our advice to the Chair in the development of the proposed typology.
At COMMUNIA we have been mapping educational exceptions for several years now, and we have created a template that breaks down the different provisions into their essential elements (users, uses, purposes, works, conditions and preclusions) and shows simple yes/no or 0/1 results, which permit a quick understanding of their differences and similarities. This template was recently updated, in collaboration with PIJIP, to reflect the different provisions analysed by Prof. Seng and could, therefore, be a good reference to the Chair.
The second suggestion regards the study on digital issues. We believe that such a study is only useful if it brings evidence regarding the gags, legal uncertainties and obstacles that may inhibit the development of digital education and research.
For that, the methodology has to go beyond policy and legal analysis. Interviews and surveys involving educators, learners and researchers are essential. Here are a few topics that we would suggest to be included in such study:
- Digital actions carried out by the education and research communities on a regular basis;
- Types of tools, devices and works used for educational and research purposes;
- Restrictions encountered by these stakeholders in relation to different types of digital materials;
- Mechanisms to ensure functioning of exceptions and limitations regarding TPM-protected works;
- Obstacles and uncertainties faced by these stakeholders; and
- Cross-border related problems encountered by these stakeholders.