IPA Blog

Ben Steward

WIPO General Assemblies 2016 — stocktaking before the next big copyright sit-down

The Geneva-based World Intellectual Property (WIPO) has now closed its 56th Assemblies of the Member States, which took an interim look at various areas of strategic interest to publishers.
Writing for the Kluwer Copyright Blog, Tatiana Synodinou, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Cyprus, looks at the implications of Brexit on European copyright law, and wonders if, with the UK's common law model out of the equation, could this be an opportunity for deeper integration and a step towards an EU copyright code?
Over the next few months, guest writer Matt Goolding will produce a series of articles shining a spotlight on some of the world’s most prominent violators of freedom to publish. He will examine one country at a time because, while they all have the suppression of this vital human right in common, they are in reality very different places, each deserving our attention.
The morning began with an alarming rumour circulating that today’s session might spill over into a dreaded 'late-nighter'. Was this the curse of Friday 13th?
Two hot potatoes in particular injected extra vim into the SCCR discussion today, drawing parties on either side of the copyright fence into an exchange of views that, had we been in a pub and not at WIPO, might have led to indecorous behaviour from some.
A collective sigh of relief was heaved here at WIPO this morning when, at last, the broadcasting talk wrapped up.
As the SCCR delegates resumed their Sisyphean effort to define the terms underpinning the long-awaited WIPO broadcast treaty this morning, the glaring paradox at the heart of the process became apparent.
WIPO Director General Francis Gurry fired the starting gun on the 32nd Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), today, urging the participants to agree on the elusive broadcasting treaty, which has lain on the table since 1996.
This week, the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) will meet for the 32nd time, in Geneva, to debate several copyright issues that will have a direct impact on the global publishing industry.
The UNESCO-led World Book Capital sprang from the runaway success of World Book and Copyright Day, launched in 1996, when UNESCO nominated Madrid as the first World Book Capital, for 2001. Thereafter, UNESCO's General Conference adopted a resolution, on 2 November 2001, establishing the yearly nomination of World Book Capital.
It's glaringly obvious that the publishing industry has undergone a seismic shift in recent times, and many of us will have experienced this upheaval first-hand. We've seen unprecedented global mergers and acquisitions, and the demise of established sector stalwarts.

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