Structure of an Access to Knowledge Treaty. The KEI intervention at SCCR 38, on copyright limitations and exceptions

KEI intervention at SCCR 38, on copyright limitations and exceptions
April 3, 2019

KEI suggests the WIPO SCCR increase its ambitions on access to knowledge, making it more political, and while more challenging, more worth the investment of time and attention by political leaders.

In this regard, we would like WIPO to consider a way of structuring this work, around a high level Access to Knowledge Treaty, organized as follows.

The foundation would be a high level agreement, that would be modified over time (as the Berne was for a hundred years), with possible agreed statements on issues like the relevance or application of the three step test, for both general and particular exceptions.

We suggest the high level agreement would then have a formal relation to three three types of agreements, similar to the way the WTO works, or some elements of the Berne Convention.

There would be agreements that were:

1. Mandatory and Binding
2. Binding but optional, such as the annex to the Berne, and finally
3. Non-binding protocols

Examples of possible mandatory, binding agreements would be exceptions for quotations and news of the day (both mandatory exceptions in the Berne), the Marrakesh treaty on reading disabilities, or a new agreement on exceptions for archiving and preservation, areas where I believe several authors groups can support.

Examples of optional binding agreements, might be something on access to orphaned copyrighted works, or as regards augmenting training and certification videos with computer generated captions for deaf people.

Examples of a possible non-binding protocol might be on text mining.

Other work on exceptions for education, research, professional training and certifications, translations, libraries and museums could end up in different parts of the agreement, depending upon levels of consensus on hard or soft norms.