WIPO SCCR 43: Notes from Day 3

Working towards a binding international L&E instrument
Iran, Pakistan and Kenya highlighted their support toward the African proposal as well emphasized the need for an internationally binding treaty on L&E. Saudi Arabia mentioned the need for Limitations and Exceptions to benefit the preservation and sharing of cultural heritage, as well as for persons with disabilities. Iran emphasied on the need for adequate balance and copyright protection and a balance between different national legislations. Iran stated that there was a need to have an international legal instrument in order to harmonise national legislations, in the absence of which there would not be a free flow of information. Iran also emphasised on the need to look at the priorities of developing countries with respect to the Development Agenda. Pakistan also highlighted the issues that came to light during the pandemic, especially with regard to cross border use of information by educational institutions. In addition to this Pakistan stated that it looked forward to a binding instrument that was not too prescriptive. Kenya shed light on the concerns around the increasing knowledge gap between the developed and the developing countries, and the migration from analogue to digital environment.

WIPO SCCR 43: Notes from Day 4

Limitations and Exceptions and Cross Border Flow of Data
Nigeria, South Africa, Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Iran, Uganda and Algeria extended their support to the Work Programme on L&E by the African Group. Nigeria in their statement  expressed how L&E were essential for research, cultural exchange, and how it had the potential to help people around the world who still lack access to educational and research materials. Nigeria also highlighted that a legally binding international treaty would help harmonise and balance the copyright system with other instruments such as the TRIPS agreement and the WIPO internet treaties, and facilitate smooth transborder trade in both online and traditional media. Iran stated that the creation of L&E for online and crossborder use of data is imperative, especially for the benefit of online teaching and research as well as bridge the digital divide by facilitating access to knowledge and technology.

The European Union (EU)  and France however were not in support of a legally binding instrument.The  EU stated that they would prefer a non-binding instrument such as a toolkit, while France stated that the current international framework of copyright is sufficiently flexible to allow members to implement L&E in their national legislations, as well as to find appropriate tools to meet the needs of education, research and preservation. France expressed their reservation in moving towards a normative framework and stated that the states  could look at the exchange of best practice at national level and support in drafting national legislations. The United States stated that topics such as text and data mining and contract override were not issues that were fully discussed yet at the committee level.

Observations by the Chair

  1. The Chair  noted that there continued to be a disagreement on whether to pursue international instruments for Limitations and Exceptions.
  2. The Chair also noted that while there was a lot of support for the proposal, there still was no consensus on the proposal. The Chair suggested that the African Group work with the member states that highlighted their reservations and work together with the Chair to see if the proposal could be revised, or to look at portions of the proposal that enjoyed the support to be advanced.