WIPO Adopts Action Plans to Advance Discussion of Copyright Exceptions for Archives

The 36th meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR36) took place in Geneva 28 May-1 June 2018. The ICA, along with its partners from IFLA and ICOM, continues to advocate for a binding international treaty setting out basic copyright exceptions that will enable libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs) around the globe to fulfil their mission to preserve their holdings and make them available for use.  

SCCR36 was very successful for LAMs. The highlight was the adoption of an Action Plan for LAMs that treats the three sectors together. Archives and libraries have always been treated together at SCCR and earlier studies (most notably the study of the exceptions for libraries and archives in national copyright laws) included extensive data about archives. However, the Action Plan initially proposed placed archives on a separate delayed timeline that included a “scoping study” of archives. After persistent and vigorous lobbying of member states, the Action Plan was amended to address archives, museums, and libraries together. The ICA’s interventions are available here.

Discussion continued on a draft text of a treaty to protect broadcasting organizations. Many NGOs were concerned about the impact of post-fixation rights on institutions that preserve broadcast archives. The ICA joined other NGOs in signing a letter voicing these concerns.  Although more work is required, it was felt that sufficient progress was made to warrant a recommendation to the WIPO General Assembly that a Diplomatic Conference be held to conclude a treaty. 

The ICA will continue to work with our cultural heritage partners and with the member states that strongly support a treaty (e.g., the African Group, the Asia-Pacific Group, and the Latin American and Caribbean countries). We look forward to continued progress as work on the Action Plan proceeds.  


Jean Dryden 

ICA Representative to SCCR36


Jean Dryden at SCCR36

The SCCR36 group