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Intervention by the International Authors Forum at the SCCR34 on Education Exceptions

As the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) held the 34th session of its Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) Barbara Hayes spoke on behalf of the IAF to give the authors’ view on education exceptions.

WIPO is a special agency of the United Nations dealing with copyright at an international level. The SCCR includes government representatives of the 188 UN Member States.

The full statement is as follows.

The International Authors Forum represents authors from the text, screenwriting and visual arts sectors and their interests in copyright.  Our members are 60 organisations representing well over 600,000 authors worldwide.

In an increasingly homogenized world the preservation of cultural diversity is important.  Authors preserve that diversity by maintaining indigenous arts, literatures, languages and music.

Ultimately, it is authors’ work that is being considered in the proposals being discussed at WIPO.  There are individual authors whose rights are involved in all countries.  Those rights must be given primary consideration.

Authors need fair remuneration if they are to continue to produce the work everyone wants to access – without payment they will not be able to continue to create.  The diversity and quality of content will suffer and the quantity of works produced will be limited.

All authors want the widest possible lawful access to their works and recognize that libraries, archives and educational institutions are vital to broadening and encouraging access for all.

We believe there are already international copyright provisions in place that work well to enable the development of licensing frameworks which enable access, including cross-border provisions through educational institutions, and ensure fair payment.

Authors believe that these existing provisions contain sufficient flexibility for countries represented at WIPO to continue to work towards national solutions, such as licensing frameworks, which can be developed according to local needs.