From 9 to 13 May 2022, Creative Commons (CC) participated in the 42nd session of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) in Geneva, Switzerland. In this blog post, we look back on the highlights of the SCCR/42 week.
Super happy to represent @creativecommons at @WIPO #SCCR42 #copyright meeting in #Geneva to emphasize the need for international exceptions & limitations to support #CulturalHeritage institutions’ global digital presence & #BetterSharing of knowledge & culture. pic.twitter.com/tU6oHNsLqF
— Brigitte Vézina (@Brigitte_Vezina) May 13, 2022
Wikimedia chapters denied accreditation
On May 9, Wikimedia chapters of France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Sweden, and Switzerland were denied accreditation as official observers to the WIPO SCCR. Previously, China had rejected the Wikimedia Foundation’s application for observer status. CC condemns this decision, as detailed in our blog post.
CC’s general policy agenda at WIPO
As part of its policy agenda, CC aims to drive copyright reform towards better sharing of copyright content in the public interest and in tune with the sharing possibilities unlocked in the digital environment. We promote open culture, a positive, global policy framework that fosters the public-interest mission of cultural institutions. Last month, we published a policy paper that details our views on copyright reform, and held a workshop last week to start the process to consolidate those views into a practical guide for policymakers. Stay tuned for next steps!
Exceptions and limitations
Open culture is conditioned upon strong, clear, and effective limitations and exceptions; they are the pillars on which cultural heritage institutions can rest to fulfill their mission. Global challenges such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic are causing unprecedented hardship to cultural institutions and the communities they serve. These challenges magnify the vital importance of limitations and exceptions to facilitate cultural heritage institutions’ digital presence. CC delivered a statement calling on WIPO member states to endorse the Proposal by the African Group (SCCR/42/4), which we support, as it is geared towards concrete and meaningful solutions to ensure there are effective and consistent exceptions and limitations to support institutions and their millions of users worldwide.
“Global challenges such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic are causing unprecedented hardship to LAMs… These challenges magnify the vital importance of limitations and exceptions to facilitate LAMs’ global digital presence.”
— Creative Commons (@creativecommons) May 12, 2022
Regarding the discussions on a draft broadcasting treaty, CC remains firmly opposed to any new right for broadcasters. As we stated in the past, additional rights would add a layer of protection atop the underlying copyright in the works being broadcast. This new set of rights would permit broadcasters to restrict access to works already licensed under a Creative Commons license or in the public domain, and would unnecessarily complicate the rights-negotiation process that Creative Commons has attempted to simplify. For Creative Commons, the exceptions and limitations proposed in the draft treaty are insufficient to address uses for purposes of education, research and preservation of cultural heritage. Furthermore, regarding the use of digital rights management (DRM) and technological protection measures (TPMs) to enforce such rights, CC finds these antithetical to the “open” ethos and at odds with the values of better sharing that we support.
Although we are disappointed that the African Group proposal was not supported in its entirety, we welcome the Committee’s commitment to continue to discuss a revised proposal at the next session, SCCR/43. We also welcome the meeting’s conclusions to (1) invite experts to give presentations on specific cross-borders problems in the online and cross-border environment, including on education and research; (2) for the Secretariat to develop, in consultations with experts and stakeholders from beneficiary communities and right holders, toolkits on technical assistance to support education, research and the preservation of cultural heritage.
We look forward to Member States taking active steps to build on this momentum and accelerate the work for a fairer and more balanced copyright system that supports better sharing in the public interest.
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