Join the Copyright and Other Legal Matters Network!

In February, we blogged about copyright reforms that were upcoming or ongoing in 2018 and whose outcomes were likely to have an impact on libraries. As such, copyright remains one of the core elements of IFLA’s advocacy work, both at the global level, and in support of its members nationally and regionally. Our goal is to ensure that libraries benefit from laws that respond to their, and their users’ needs.

The most obvious forum for IFLA’s advocacy here is the World Intellectual Property Organisation, where discussion on exceptions and limitations to enable access to information are on the table (see here for the latest developments). However, many changes are happening at a national and regional level.

To keep track of – and react to – these changes, IFLA relies on a large group of experts from all over the world, gathered on the CLM Network. It is currently composed of over 90 volunteers from over 30 different countries. Their input and collaboration are fundamental for IFLA to identify current copyright reforms and act where needed.

The blog post “Copyright for Libraries – Part 1” is an example of this cross-border collaboration in monitoring copyright reforms. Network members are invited to contribute to our database on ongoing copyright reforms, which provided the evidence for that analysis.

Some other good examples include the submissions made on the South African (see the submission) and the Colombian (see comments and letter) copyright reforms, among others. The input and understanding of people on the ground was key to understanding the legislative procedure in the country or region, identifying the possibilities to submit comments, analysing the provisions and their impact on libraries, and writing suggestions for improvement.

Moreover, network members play an important role in supporting IFLA’s work at WIPO. We want to ensure that every government official attending WIPO’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (the committee discussing exceptions and limitations to copyright for libraries) has heard from a local librarian, to ensure they understand the need for progress.

As such the network provides invaluable support to the work of the IFLA Advisory Committee on Copyright and other Legal Matters (CLM), and delivers on the need, highlighted in the IFLA Global Vision Report Summary, for “more and better advocates at all levels”.

We’ll be happy to hear about what’s going on in your country, to get your perspective in several questions and to help whenever needed. Your examples will also be of great help to the broader community. We welcome contributions to the Library Policy and Advocacy blog on copyright, and you can also tweet about copyright and libraries in your country using the hashtag #Copyright4Libraries.

You can join the network through this page by subscribing to the IFLA-CLM mailing list (copyright and other legal matters advisory committee network).

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