Following Wednesday’s jam-packed day of presentations and side-events, you could feel a drop in energy in the chamber today as a number of reports were presented.
Today, we begin the week-long, 38thsession of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). For those of you new to these conferences, we direct you to our summary of where we ended up last time (in November 2018).
When IPA President Hugo Setzer asked me to become the IPA’s Presidential Envoy for Diversity & Inclusion in the Publishing Industry I immediately accepted. It is a topic close to my heart and important for our industry – an importance which will only increase over time.
Iran celebrated its national book week from 15 to 22 November this year with the slogan ‘The Great Joy of Reading’. The book week is the second major book related event in Iran after Tehran international book fair that is held in May every year. There were many activities and programs planned for this week across the country, either state driven or run by the private sector, to promote the culture of reading.
IPA’s President-elect, Hugo Setzer, virtually opened the last day of SCCR 37 in a video prepared by the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC). Hugo spoke eloquently (in Spanish, with English subtitles) about accessibility issues as they affect his native Mexico as well as the global context.
Following yesterday’s exceptions and limitations marathon, today was a much shorter affair as the SCCR raced through the agenda. The morning session kicked off with NGOs asked to comment on the progress (or, in the eyes of many civil society organisations, the absence thereof) around exceptions for archives.
Following yesterday’s surprise close to discussions on the Broadcasting Treaty with a Chair’s revised consolidated text, today’s proceedings moved onto Exceptions and Limitations (E&Ls) and the civil society NGOs in favour of E&Ls kicked off the day with a morning side-event.
The first day of the SCCR37 closed with ‘informal’ discussions about the Broadcasting Treaty amid much interest about whether the Argentine and American proposals would lead to a breakthrough or the continuation of the current deadlock.
If you’re not a regular WIPO-watcher you could be forgiven for having forgotten what happened back in May when the 36th session of WIPO’s SCCR confounded expectations and appeared to make progress on the Broadcasting Treaty. Back then there was even talk of a Diplomatic Conference (or DipCon in the jargon) to turn the 20 years of negotiations into an actual treaty. Remind yourself what happened last time by having a quick read through our blog diaries and our jargon buster.
The first time I encountered a self-published book in Iran was about 10 years ago. My blogger friend tried to publish his first collection of short stories and faced a dead end with the book office censors. The whole book had a dark comedy theme and, as I remember, one of the protagonists was a rather stupid army commander. The authorities had told him that it is an insult to our “sacred military forces”.
Turkey’s Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk was invited to Iran by one of his Iranian publishers Qoqnus to attend the Tehran International Book Fair in May. He was supposed to speak in one of the literary centres in Iran, in a night of celebration of his work. He reached Iran but both events were cancelled for reasons like the venues “not being ready” and “avoiding congestion in the book fair”. The only program he could attend was a press conference on the other side of the city far from the book fair venue in Niavaran Cultural Historical Palace stopping his readers from seeing or speaking to him.
Google is at it again. According to press reports in the New Zealand Herald, Google refused to comply with a New Zealand court order to suppress details and remove content related to a local murder trial because, according to a representative of Google NZ, “Google LLC, was a separate legal entity incorporated in the US, meaning New Zealand’s courts and laws held no power over it.” Tell that to the Supreme Court of Canada.
At last week’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), organised by the World Intellectual Property Organisation, many delegates asked for educational materials to be made copyright free.
It’s over. There were a few last-minute huddles of regional groups and Member States to thrash out possible compromises on agreed wording, but the 36th meeting of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) came to a close this afternoon.
Day 4 of SCCR is the second day focussing on the Draft Action Plans (DAPs) and Exceptions and Limitations (Es and Ls, check out our jargon buster). The day started out with another round of comments from groups, Member States and observers and featured the same the mix of opinions as yesterday.
After almost a complete day yesterday with the plenary chamber empty because of ‘informals’ on the Broadcasting Treaty, there was more action this morning. Chairman Daren Tang recognised yesterday’s positive momentum on the Broadcasting Treaty before moving discussions on to exceptions and limitations and the proposed draft action plans (DAPs).
Day 2 of this 36th session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights started with an almost empty plenary room, save a handful of NGOs, as the Members States continued their ‘informals’ from last night, with the NGOs following the discussions from the plenary room, without being able to relay them to anyone.