New Proposal At WIPO For Exceptions and Limitations Agreement; US UnconvincedPublished on 11 March 2008 @ 3:34 pm
Intellectual Property Watch
By William New
Several nations have joined Chile in presenting a new proposal for work on limitations and exceptions to this week’s meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organization copyright committee. The work would include establishing an international agreement on the issue.
But the United States told the plenary on Tuesday that it is “not ready” for norm-setting activities on exceptions and limitations and needs to see “evidence-based” analysis to show the need for more work on this area, according to sources.
The new proposal, available here [pdf], offered Tuesday by Brazil, Chile, Nicaragua and Uruguay, calls for work on three areas: identification from members’ national IP systems of models and practices on exceptions and limitations; analysis of exceptions and limitations needed to promote and disseminate creation and innovation; and establishment of an agreement on exceptions and limitations for the public interest, as a minimum in all national legislation.
Special concern would be given to the most vulnerable or socially needy sectors, based on recent WIPO-commissioned studies, the proposal said.
The WIPO Standing Committee on Copyrights and Related Rights (SCCR) is meeting from 10-12 March (IPW, Copyright Policy, 11 March 2008). The proposal echoes an earlier Chilean proposal to the committee that launched discussion on the topic at WIPO over two years ago (IPW, Technical Cooperation/Technology Transfer, 12 January 2006).
The new proposal suggested a four-phase work plan. The committee would, along with the WIPO secretariat and interested stakeholders, analyse the current status of the issue at the international level, followed by analysis of the national level. Next, the committee would discuss the “justifications and implications” for exceptions and limitations, and finally undertake to select exceptions that would form a minimum global framework.
In the end, the committee would adopt formal recognition of mandatory minimum exceptions and identify models for other exceptions to be best practices.
The short-term agenda would begin with a two-day meeting at the next SCCR with the presentation of all WIPO-commissioned studies by their authors, alongside other studies.
It also would involve an “Open Forum” on technology and exceptions and limitations to copyright with industry representatives, researchers and academics to analyse the implications.
Finally, it would include at least an additional WIPO study during 2008 on exceptions and limitations for educational purposes.
US Wants Proof
The formal responses to the proposal had not been made, but the United States said that it would like to see more evidence of the need for more work on exceptions and limitations, noting that it remains open to the discussion, sources said. It also suggested to the plenary a possible impact on existing international treaties such as the long-standing Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.
William New may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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