SAA Past President Bill Maher represented the Society at the November 21 – December 2, 2011, meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, which convened to discuss a proposal for a treaty on exemptions for library and archives. Maher also serves as a member of SAA’s Intellectual Property Working Group.
As a signatory to WIPO treaty agreements, the United States is obligated to implement WIPO treaty actions. Thus any treaty adopted by WIPO may have a direct impact on American archivists and archives users. SAA’s goal in attending the meeting as an observer was to advocate for broad exemptions, with a particular focus on breaking down unreasonable copyright barriers to use of unpublished materials in all (including born-digital) formats. Although the International Council on Archives has a representative to SCCR, SAA was concerned that there were no other archival voices in Geneva and none to present the perspective of American archivists and archives users.
SAA was granted NGO Observer status on the first day of the meeting, thus giving Maher an opportunity to deliver a brief statement on behalf of SAA.
SAA’s representation at the meeting was funded by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
View the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) press release here.