SCCR/37: Communia general statement on exceptions and limitations

Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights
Let us converge and harmonise laws
Licentie

In our capacity of permanent observers of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, we are attending the 37th session of the Committee, which is taking place in Geneva from 26 to 30 November 2018.

The following is the general statement made by Teresa Nobre on Limitations and Exceptions (Agenda Items 6 and 7):

I’m speaking on behalf of COMMUNIA, the International Association on the Digital Public Domain.

I would like to start by making yet another request to Member States from developed countries, in particular those from my region, to soften their position against the need to harmonise copyright exceptions for the benefit of public interests related to access to knowledge and education, and freedom of expression. These interests are protected by human rights and are of no less importance than the interests of right holders, which are already highly harmonised.

We recall again that the European Union will soon adopt mandatory exceptions for various uses, including for text and data mining, education and for preservation for libraries and cultural heritage institutions. These new exceptions are designed to work across borders, have strong protections against contractual overrides, and give enough flexibility for Member States, namely on the level of remuneration.

We insist: this regional effort shows that agreeing on minimum standards is possible, while still taking into account local specificities.

For these reasons, we have worked together with other NGOs on the draft of a civil society proposed treaty on copyright exceptions and limitations for education and research activities. TERA, our draft treaty, was based on previous work by this Committee and incorporates provisions of existing international agreements and of national laws. We hope this draft will be of use to this Committee and will be taken into consideration during the regionals’ work towards the creation of guidance and recommendations to build an international instrument.

Thank you.

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