Some good, some bad and clearly some showing awareness that the pandemic has changed some rules of the (copyright) game
Group B highlighted the need for remuneration of creators as well as the importance of measures at the national level. Noting also that there is a a need to take into account the role of digital media in the pandemic.
Group B is committed to the general principles as set out in the report, and limitations and exceptions are an essential part of the balanced copyright framework and underpin cultural heritage and education as a common good. We should, however, be mindful that the ability of creators to be fairly renumerated and rewarded should not be unduliy inhibited and therefore recognize the important role that licensing plays in this context.
A focus on digital aspects of this work seems timely, considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges, in particular, concerning access to education and cultural works. However, we stress that considering digital aspects in this Committee only through the lens of exceptions and limitations would be too narrow and one sided.
The Russian Federation on behalf of the Regional Group:
[…]we can use the spirits of Member States in their national legislation to formulate general principles on which to harmonize our approaches, create an international instrument that will be used as guidance for proposing solutions to these common problems.
We believe it’s extremely important to resolve cross-border issues, the examination of legal ambiguity, and difference in the legislations of various countries and pay special attention to the preservation of the cultural heritage in digital form, and also focus on international principles and systems which will be applicable to museums, libraries, archives, libraries, and educational and research institutions.
The COVID pandemic has shown a very important need for digital technology, including remote access and cross-border use. We agree that the existence of digital materials should become generalized. This year the drawbacks and backwardness of existing international instruments have become particularly glaring when the whole international system of copyright and relate the rights had unprecedented challenges, and the work of millions of museums, library, and archives in traditional sense of the word was under threat. The lack of recognized international guidance makes it difficult to have cross-border access and exchange of culture and progress becomes more difficult as well.
We stress the exclusively important role of libraries, archives, and museums in preserving the cultural well being of people and presence of research for providing access and quality education and research. Education and research institutions in the digital environment is a difficult task to achieve. He had exceptions and limits satisfy the needs of education and research online to an adequate degree and national exceptions and limitations are the best way for respecting the interests of society and satisfying and should meet the needs of each country.
Licensing, obviously, is called on to play an important role in the development of online and cross-border education satisfying the needs and demand for educational materials, engaging in educational research work online, and while maintaining primary markets for license productions. Of course, for this we need new, improved legislative n norms, are and also a real dialogue between rightsholders and educational institutions which will bring together the interest of both sides and lay the foundations for cooperation in the search for more offers and greater access to material online.
Zimbabwe for the Africa Group:
[…]The Group believes that a balanced copyright system which rewards creators and provides suitable access, assures progress and sustainable development of societies by incentivizing, creating, and promoting public welfare through dissemination of knowledge, culture, and science.
We look forward to further discussion on this agenda item at SCCR 41. Chairperson, the advent of COVID-19 pandemic has presented a unique challenge to our global community. Children have been denied access to online educational material due to restrictive copyright regulations. It is an acute challenge which requires our urgent attention in this Committee.
Brazil called attention to people with other disabilities who need accessibility :
…Brazil attaches great value to these discussions and favors continued work on these issues by the Committee. In line with our historical position on this subject, we believe limitations and exceptions to copyright must strike a balance between the legitimate interests of authors and creators and that of third parties. In the case of librarians and archivists acting within the scope of their professional activities, limitations and exceptions are a means to avoid exposing these categories to legal challenges.
This delegation would like to call attention to the issue of limitations and exceptions regarding people with other disabilities not covered by the Marrakesh Treaty. Notwithstanding its undeniable importance we note this issue to which the Brazilian Government is deeply committed, has received little attention from this Committee in recent years. We see room for more in depth exchange in this matter and would propose that future regional or sub-regional seminars address the issue of limitations and exceptions regarding people with other disabilities, with a focus on new technologies and accessibility.
Indonesia wants concrete actions:
The topic of limitations and exceptions to copyright is an issue shared by all countries as limitations exceptions are a natural part of any balanced copyright system as an obstacle as facilitated to the objectives.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that the way our educational institutions as well as libraries, archives, and museums worldwide need a supportive environment with limitations so they can form functions without necessary risk. As such, we’re encouraged by the results of the implementation of the Action Plans on limitations and Exceptions. …
Indonesia hopes the outcomes of this will not only remain as report documents but it is our hope that this Committee will transfer them into a concrete work program for the SCCR on the issue of limitations and exceptions. Mr. Chair, the important issue now is where we go from here. In this regard, we encourage a customized and approach when capacity building is provided for Member States to develop national legal framework on this issue. However, it should be understood that capacity-building alone is not enough to resolve all the problems we’re facing with regard to the issue of limitations and exceptions. Indonesia certainly looks forward for future work program on limitations and exceptions, including one that would also resolve the cross-border issues.
Trinidad and Tobago:
… my Delegations expresses full support for the ongoing work on limitations and exceptions, including contractual agreements and licensing-based solutions. We look forward to the continuation of the work in this Committee.
Ecuador mentions a possible international agreement as long as it is narrow (?):
We believe that the SCCR has worked consistently for opening a proper area of the discussion on exceptions and limitations for all of these areas.
Thanks to that, we have a lot of material that will be useful to construct the consolidated text for a possible international instrument. However, I would like to point out that it shouldn’t contradict the three-step test and they should be limited to particular situations. The difficult situation and because of the world health crisis due to COVID-19 makes us think about the need for recognizing exceptions and limitations that make it impossible to access information for education and research purposes.
However, we might also think that thanks to the work of creators, we’ve been able to have works that get us through all the anxious moments that we’re living at present. We should keep in mind to properly limit exceptions and limitations. We shouldn’t make them too broad. It would affect the creativity and would lead to legal insecurity because it would make a rule of what is naturally an exception.
I think it would be important that the report identify where exceptions and like limitations might be applied in all of these areas and present international texts, bearing in mind our mandate on this, we would like the work done on visually impaired persons to be repeated in all of those areas covered by the seminars in the conference so as to replicate the successful outcomes of the Marrakesh Treaty.
In the same way, under the context of this pandemic, we think it might be of value that under exceptions and limitations, we explore the flexibilities that copyright can offer to deal with the health crisis, especially with regards to online education and access to libraries and archives, which are at present shut to the public and which are necessary for access to culture.
Finally, we would like to point out that we think it’s important that the conclusions of the report should not focus on areas whose subject matter is distinct from exceptions and limitations. For example, licensing and contractual issues are not relevant to the discussion here and might even hold up to us achieving or complying with our mandate.
However, work could go on in that area or those areas in parallel.
…Firstly, exceptions and limitations are designed to mitigate the rigor of exclusive rights granted by copyright or any other forms of intellectual property law. In mitigating the effects of exclusive rights, exceptions and limitations serve, among others, social policy goals of balancing the interests of combating stakeholders while ensuring that there is no potential market failure. Since exceptions and limitations routinely result in free use of protected works, in most jurisdictions, they must be well thought out to avoid market disruption.
In many countries, laws are designed to fulfill certain cultural and social goals and so are exceptions and limitations. While in Kenya, and other countries, exceptions and limitations have been designed mostly to bridge the knowledge and information gap that may not have been the driving force in other jurisdictions.
Therefore, there is no single model that can serve all jurisdictions. Consequently, Kenya needs more of a revamp of these deficiencies than for an international instrument on exceptions and limitations.
Kenya holds the view that the exceptions and limitations standing alone without corresponding to exclusive rights would cause more confusion in the industry than assist the industry.
Licensing and exceptions are not mutually exclusive but rather a part of the same enabling environment as stated by a number of participants during the regional seminars and international instrument is important to inform local law making with high-level principles and minimum baselines that can be implemented flexibly at the local levels. Mr. Chair, international instruments should be well thought out with special consideration to the development perspective while according to online and digital cross-border uses of education.
As this unprecedented time, an action to prioritize work on a instrument that will support and promote the use of an international system to respond to public needs during the COVID pandemic, with schools and libraries forcing to closure, we had to shift education research and the learning activities online overnight.
Malaysia acknowledges the various challenges at the national level and transnational for delivery, archive museums and educational institutions and reflected on the importance with a goal of achieving an effective and balanced outcome for the changing societal needs.
Malaysia hopes that a range of possibilities can be considered on the way forward from the action plan that was adopted at the SCCR 36. With the priority on the instrument in whatever form of preservations and digital and cross-border use for education research, library, archives, are and educational institutions.
Nothing new here: the European Union reiterates its opposition to work on legally binding international instrument on limitations and exceptions.
The European Union and its Member States strongly believe that libraries, archives, and museums play a crucial role in the dissemination of knowledge, information, and culture, along with the preservation of our history.
We also attach importance to the support of educational and research institutions and for people with disabilities, both in the analog and digital wards. And within the existing international copyright framework.
We have foreseen merit in the work carried out in this Committee as is set out in the Action Plans on Limitations and Exceptions. Following the International Conference on this topic, held in October of 2019, we took note with interest that the broad support seems to have emerged to focus further work at capacity-building and improving legislation within the national and regional level.
We believe that there would be value in reflecting further on how WIPO can best provide assistance in this regard.
The Report from the regional seminars and international conference confirms our understanding in this regard on the basis of the various possibilities to exchange on this topic in national or regional settings. Chair, the EU and its Member States stand ready to engage constructively on the items of the agenda. However, we would like to recall that we support an approach that focuses the work of this Committee on the way in which limitations and exceptions can function efficiently within the framework of existing international treatieies, while being mindful of the important role that licensing also plays in many Member States.
From our point of view, the work carried out over the course of the last two years confirms that there is a great need for further capacity building at the national level as well as for guidance from WIPO. EU and its Member States, therefore believe, that the meaningful way forward would be to continue to focus on systematic understanding of the problems faced by cultural institutions and the persons with disabilities. Those imply giving full consideration to the solutions already available to WIPO Member States, including those provided by innovation in relevant markets and those available under the current international framework.
Chair, against this background, we reiterate that we cannot support work toward legally binding instruments at the international level or any preparation in this regards, but we believe in particular against the background of the report from the seminars and the conference in focusing on national capacity building combined with an exchange of best practices and guidance regarding in which national treaties with developed in national laws. Where appropriate in regional format, in order to best address regional specificities and local, legal, and cultural traditions.