WIPO General Assembly 2018: Statement of the United States on Copyright Exceptions and Limitations

On 26 September 2018, at the 2018 WIPO General Assembly, the United States of America delivered the following intervention on Copyright Exceptions and Limitations.

World Intellectual Property Organization Assemblies of the Member States September 24 to October 2, 2018

AGENDA ITEM 14: Report on the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) DOCUMENT: WTO/GA/50/3


Copyright Exceptions and Limitations

  • The United States supports work in the SCCR to develop high-level principles and objectives for national copyright exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives and for educational activities.
  • Such an approach would establish international consensus on areas where appropriate exceptions or limitations would be desirable at the national level.
  • Once these principles are developed, WIPO and its Members could work together to improve and update national laws. The principles would provide a framework of common understanding as a basis for seminars and workshops and providing technical assistance in developing high-quality legislation.
  • We see this approach as preferable to binding norm-setting, since the current international framework provides appropriate flexibility, pursuant to well-established standards, for countries to enact exceptions and limitations to advance their own social, cultural and economic policies.
  • The United States also supports work aimed at deepening the Committee’s understanding of national copyright limitations and exceptions for persons with disabilities other than visual impairment.
  • Finally, we note that work on the broadcasters’ treaty is more advanced than work on other items on the SCCR agenda. As a result, the United States believes each topic should be addressed and considered separately in its own right in establishing any work-plan for the SCCR.