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by in Publishing industry

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.

As always, the IPA will take part in the five-day session as an accredited non-governmental organization, making interventions and presenting positions - along with a number of other bodies that represent rightsholders.

After literally years of deadlock over the long-awaited broadcasting treaty, WIPO watchers believe there is real hope that the Committee may see a breakthrough this time.

However, of greatest interest to IPA members are agenda items relating to exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives, and exceptions and limitations for educational and research institutions. Also on the table is a Brazilian proposal to analyse copyright related to the digital environment.

The past four SCCR sessions have failed to yield any agreed conclusions, and the Committee has had to rely on the Chair's conclusions instead. However, word has it here in Geneva that unofficial pronouncements by some delegations suggest that if the Committee can navigate a path to a broadcast treaty agreement, then further progress on other issues could follow.

The IPA firmly believes that publishers' most important asset is the rights they own or control in the works they publish, and that copyright is the best legal instrument to protect these rights. It is the safeguard that protects publisher investment, the incentive that determines the relationship between author and publisher and provides the livelihood for both. For this reason, the defence and promotion of copyright is one of IPA's core objectives.

We at the IPA will be posting evening reports daily from the 32nd SCCR, here in the WIPO Diary, so do keep coming back for updates.

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Ben Steward became the IPA's Director of Communications and Freedom to Publish in February 2016.

After leaving the UK, where he had been a newspaper journalist, Ben joined the Geneva-based European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the world’s biggest alliance of public service broadcasters, where he worked for eight years as a news editor then communications officer in the Public Affairs Department. From 2014 to 2016 he served as the speechwriter and communications aide to the leadership of MSC Cruises, the world's fourth biggest cruise company. 

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Guest Thursday, 23 November 2017