Little Progress at SCCR

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 Twenty Seventh Session of WIPO's Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights
Photo: WIPO – Emmanuel Berrod

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.