While there still seemed to be a reasonable divergence of opinions, the Chair (Abdoul Aziz Dieng) suggested convening a second special, technical session this year to enable quick progress on the text. The suggestion took a few delegations by surprise: some understood it was for a full SCCR, while others for just a technical meeting. The floor swung between national delegations and observers, from comments on the proposal for a technical meeting to questions on the draft text without resolution by the lunch break.
The side event on The role of copyright in the growth of national audiovisual sectors – A focus on Turkish film and TV production and global distribution was well attended and gave delegates and observers a fascinating window into the world of Turkish TV, second only to Hollywood in terms of exports, which has been successful in finding audiences in Latin America, Europe, the Baltics and the Middle East. An example of the power and reach of copyright.
The afternoon opened with the Chair clarifying that he was proposing a technical meeting later in the year not another full SCCR meeting: 3 days in October for a “special meeting” with a series of workshops. And with that the agenda item on the Broadcasting Treaty closed for the day.
The Africa Group, took the floor to present its Proposal by the African Group for a Draft work Program on Exceptions and Limitations.
The WIPO secretariat, through Geidy Lung, then reminded delegates what had happened in recent years on the issue of exceptions and limitations, including 2019’s action plans, regional seminars, and reports.
Member States took the floor to share their views of the Africa Group Proposal with all willing to engage constructively on the issue but clear divergence on much of the content. There was continued opposition to any work that may lead to a legal instrument or treaty. There was consensus on using SCCR to gather information and facilitate exchanges of best practice. But here were disagreements over the call in the African proposal to delegate drafting work to experts.
Observers then took the floor.
IPA President, Bodour Al Qasimi, delivered a statement where she underlined the importance of copyright in enabling publishers around the world to react quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic and keep people learning and reading. She spoke about her own experience in talking to IPA members in many developing economies where limited digital infrastructure and insufficient copyright enforcement slowed down the ability of publishers to adopt digital publishing.
You can download the full statement here.
And the temperature started to rise as observers sought clarification on Group positions and to expose divisions within Groups, calls for work on exceptions and limitations to progress urgently and suggesting copyright was to blame for many challenges faced during the pandemic. Organisations for rightsholders are increasingly outnumbered in the observer stalls by a range of organisations calling for action on exception and limitations.
The clock ran down with more observers ready to speak. The debates over exceptions and limitations will resume tomorrow.