World Intellectual Property Day - 26 April 2020

Jean Dryden, ICA Representative at WIPO | 24 April 2020

International action on copyright is urgently needed to allow archives around the world to preserve their collections in the face of climate change. World Intellectual Property Day 2020 provides a unique opportunity to raise the issues facing archives around climate change, and the pressing need for an international response to protect world heritage.  

Since 2010, the ICA has been working within the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to promote the best copyright laws to support the archival mission. National copyright laws are a key determinant of archives’ ability to carry out their mission, but copyright laws differ widely from country to country. Too many countries do not have the laws or clarity necessary to make preservation copies and store digitised contents in the cloud.  

Across the world, we are facing clear evidence of climate change -- rising sea levels, storms, and fires -- putting irreplaceable collections at risk. We must act now to enable archives in every country to safeguard heritage at risk without infringing copyright. The following letter calls on WIPO to take immediate action to help save our cultural heritage.