The final day of this SCCR began with the Chair recognising a cloud of fatigue in the room and encouraging delegates to press on through the day to finish the week.
Day 3 of SCCR 42 opened with further discussion and analysis of the new text on the broadcasting treaty with the afternoon reserved for discussions on exceptions and limitations.
Following the eventful first day of SCCR 42, day 2 saw a slightly emptier conference hall pick up the SCCR 42 agenda. The broadcasting treaty was the agenda item of the day. Delegates seemed impatient to move on to this discussion after two years of delay and with a new text in front of them.
A blue sky welcomed back delegates to Geneva for the first face to face WIPO SCCR since 2019. An information session on the impact of COVID on the copyright ecosystem, election of a new officers and approval of observers were the headline discussion points for the day but the Russian invasion of Ukraine cast a shadow over the morning’s proceedings.
The term of IPA Past President, Dr Michiel Kolman, on the board of the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) came to an end last month. The ABC is hosted by WIPO and is part of the practical implementation of the Marakesh Treaty. Michiel has been succeeded by Laura Brady of Canadian publisher, House of Anansi. I asked Michiel about his work on the ABC board and to Laura about her background in accessibility and her hopes for the future.
The SDG Book Club was an idea formed through a unique collaboration between the IPA and the United Nations and involved the full spectrum of the book chain. The idea was simple; to use books as tool to encourage children aged between 6-12 to understand sustainability and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Originally launched in the six official UN languages, the idea was quickly adopted for local markets with the first SDG library established in Norway in 2020. One year on, we invited Kristin Ørjasæter, Managing Director of the Norwegian Institute for Children Books to reflect on the success, to hear about their future plans and advise for others hoping to establish their own SDG library.
The hybrid 40th SCCR maintained the traditional schedule of a normal meeting and so reserved the last session for a quick review of the subjects which are vying for a position on the formal SCCR policy agenda: a miscellany it gathers together as ‘Other Matters’.
Those subjects are
The proposal for a study on public lending right was on this list for the first time following the request by the delegation of Sierra Leone at SCCR 39 (and since supported by Panama and Malawi).
The update presentations and reactions from delegates and observers was efficient and eerie, both. In full measure.
And with that, Mr Abdoul Aziz Dieng of Sénégal, thanked all of the participants, the Chair’s summary was read out, and the meeting closed.
Day 3 of the hybrid SCCR 40 saw the Exceptions and Limitations discussions take centre stage. Given the decision of Member States to limit interactions at this meeting to stock-taking, the main focus was on the 130-page report issued by WIPO following the three Regional Seminars held in 2019 in Singapore, Nairobi and Santo Domingo and the subsequent international conference held in Geneva last October. The IPA participated in all these events, gathering together local publishers and coordinating closely with representatives of other stakeholders, including authors and CMOs.
This first meeting of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) of 2020 is an almost 100% virtual affair, save for a handful of people in the plenary chamber in Geneva, with a dramatically reduced programme of a couple of hours per day, and with a promise of no normative (or law-making) discussions on any of the agenda items.
As a bonus to our series of posts for Global Goals week, we thought we would concentrate on a specific goal, namely SDG 5: Gender Equality.
An Interview with Ellen Sporstøl and Kristin Orjasater on how Norway is inspiring the next generation of readers to become more sustainable.
SCCR 39 concluded this evening with an agreement found on how to keep the Exceptions and Limitations discussion moving forward and the other agenda items wrapped up and a possible new issue raised in the chamber.
The second day of discussions on the broadcasting treaty were mainly conducted behind closed doors with the plenary chamber finally filling at 17:40 for a presentation of conclusions.
Today’s discussions saw the focus shift from Exceptions and Limitations to the Broadcasting Treaty (and sadly not about all of the value generated by the copyright in an original work that migrates from being a book to a film, for example). The Exceptions and Limitations discussions are not over, by any stretch of the imagination, and they continue to rumble behind closed doors.
The first day closed with Dr Kenneth Crews waiting to be grilled by delegates and observers. He was given the opportunity this morning, but the highlights today were the side events and the ripples from some late-night messages to delegates.
While the publishing industry was gathered in Frankfurt last week for the most important international book fair in the world, the action was already starting at WIPO in Geneva with an International Conference on Exceptions and Limitations on Friday and Saturday 18-19 October.