ICA Training Programme Online Workshops 2021: Introduction to Copyright for Archivists

Thursday, November 18, 2021 | 14:00–17:00 (CET)

Maximum number of participants: 30 participants 
Language: English 




The goal of this half-day workshop is to introduce archivists to copyright law, to enhance their understanding of how copyright directly affects the archival functions of preservation and access, and to provide archivists with tools to evaluate the effectiveness of their national copyright law so they can advocate for changes. It will be delivered in English. 

After introducing the role of copyright in providing access to, and use of, archival materials, the workshop outlines the general structure of national copyright laws and the importance of robust copyright exceptions for archives and libraries. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of national copyright exceptions varies greatly across nations, as will be illustrated using examples from different national laws. The discussion turns to the role of international treaties in addressing these differences and the ICA’s work at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The instructor will then introduce the ICA’s Copyright Exceptions for Archives: A Checklist, a toolkit that enables archivists to evaluate how well their nation’s copyright laws support the archival mission. After outlining the Checklist’s structure and content, the presentation will stress its value as a tool to better acquaint archivists with copyright law, and enable them to evaluate their national copyright laws and advocate for any necessary amendments. There will be opportunities for questions and discussion. 

The workshop is suitable for anyone concerned with understanding of, compliance with or advocating for copyright legislation which affects the management of archives and their access by researchers.

Learning Outcomes 

At the end of the workshop participants will be able to:      

  • Understand how copyright directly affects the archival mission to acquire and preserve our holdings and make them available for use 
  • Know how national copyright laws are structured 
  • Understand how copyright works across international borders and the importance of international treaties 
  • Be able to use tools such as the Copyright Exceptions Checklist to evaluate the effectiveness of a nation’s copyright law 
  • Know how to advocate for changes to national copyright law, and for an international treaty


   Jean Dryden B&W portrait 

Dr. Jean Dryden is an archival consultant and scholar in Toronto, Canada, and a recognized expert on copyright in archival materials. She is a member of EGLM, and since 2015 has represented the ICA at WIPO’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights. This Committee is currently discussing an international agreement that would require signatory nations to include minimum copyright exceptions for archives, libraries, and museums in their national copyright laws. She is the author of Copyright Exceptions for Archives: A Checklist, a toolkit that enables archivists to evaluate how well their nation’s copyright laws support the archival mission.