The Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) is a body created by WIPO’s general assembly in 2008. It is tasked with creating and adapting programs according to the 45 recommendations of the Development Agenda. The CDIP will be meeting from May 19th to the 23rd of this year and has many items on its agenda. Several topics are planned for discussion, the most relevant of which will follow.
First, the committee has chosen to have a third party independent review of its implementation of the development agenda recommendations to its programs. Before doing this however, the committee must discuss and arrive at a consensus on the terms of reference to be used for the review (CDIP/13 Webcast: Mon 19 – English Morning Session).
The External Review of WIPO Technical Assistance in the Area of Cooperation for Development will further be discussed in order to identify the best ways to improve WIPO’s technical assistance activities. Technical assistance, in this context, refers to the development of programs that will enable developing nations to participate in the global intellectual property system. This encompasses a number of programs including online services that seek to facilitate filing and registering IP rights and other initiatives that seek to better integrate regional systems to the global IP infrastructure (WIPO).
There was again no real progress after another effort to concretize the future work of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR). The inability to arrive at any conclusions was due to tension between the positions of developing and developed nations.
The 27th meeting of the SCCR took place from April 28th to May 2nd, 2014. The week began with the discussion of rights for broadcasters and ended with exceptions for libraries and archives. With developing nations trying to obtain more beneficial rights regimes and developed nations trying to maintain current states of affairs which are advantageous to them, both topics ended at a stalemate.
Developing countries hope to produce a treaty that would allow exceptions in copyright for libraries and archives. This proposal was most strongly and vocally opposed by the European Union (IP Watch). Delegates from the EU were adamant about the removal of references to copyright exceptions in ‘text-based’ work relating to libraries and archives. This was seen by other delegates and library and archive NGOs as an attempt to slow or completely halt any progress on making exceptions to copyright (IFLA).
Delegates were also slow to come to any agreement in terms of broadcasters’ rights. This slow progress was attributed to the highly technical nature of the terms being discussed. Informal consultations were said to have brought many of the delegates up to speed on these matters (IP Watch). Most of the conclusions presented were accepted after changes to just about every paragraph. Nevertheless progress was made towards an international treaty to protect broadcasters’ rights.
A meeting at the World Intellectual Property Organization last week on a possible international treaty or international instrument that would enable libraries and archives to better preserve cultural heritage and better enable access to information by people around the world ended in stalemate.
This outcome was unfortunate for developing countries as well as library and archive NGOs who feel the direct pressure of the rigidity of national intellectual property laws. On behalf of the Canadian Library Association, Margaret Ann Wilkinson made a statement at the meetings, noting that since 2012 “Canadian libraries’ abilities to meet the needs of our users have been compromised through the recent introduction into Canadian law of legal protection for Technological Protection Measures and Digital Rights Management” (IFLA).
Gurry, an Australian, was appointed from a slate of four candidates including also Nigerian Geoffrey Onyeama, WIPO Deputy Director General; Alfredo Suescum, Chair of WTO TRIPs Council and Panama’s Ambassador to the World Trade Organization; and diplomat Jüri Seilenthal of Estonia. Seilenthal was eliminated in March. Gurry’s second term will last until 2020.