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European Parliament input for WIPOs SCCR


Today MEP Marietje Schaake asked the following written question to the European Commission:

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights is currently discussing how to give libraries the copyright limitations and exceptions that they need to promote education, research and growth, including across borders. Many of the topics discussed are similar to those in the proposal for a new copyright directive, but a WIPO instrument would add value by giving developing countries a vital impetus to pass reform and help to join the global knowledge society. CJEU Advocate General Wahl acknowledged in his opinion of 8 September 2016 that copyright law is an exclusive EU competence. While Member States are regularly consulted on the positions taken by the EU delegation at WIPO, the European Parliament has so far has had little or no opportunity to comment.

1. At what point will the EEAS/Commission consult the European Parliament on its position on limitations and exceptions for libraries, archives and museums (LAM) at WIPO’s SCCR?

2. How does the EEAS/Commission ensure positions defined during SCCR meetings take account of the legitimate interests and institutional viewpoints?

Answer by the Commission received on the 15th of March 2017

Answer given by Vice-President Ansip on behalf of the Commission

The Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is a committee of WIPO Member States' experts that meets biannually to discuss copyright related issues.

There are several issues on the agenda of the SCCR. The nature of the discussions varies. At this stage, discussions in the SCCR on the issue of limitations and exceptions for libraries, archives and museums remain at the level of an exchange of views and best practices.

The Commission does not have an authorisation to open negotiations on this issue and there is no consensus amongst the WIPO members as to the desirability to engage in such negotiations at this stage. If the current discussions were to turn into negotiations and the Commission received an authorisation from the Council to engage in them, the Commission will ensure full information of the European Parliament in accordance with the framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission (OJ 2010, L 304/47).

The Commission is in contact with stakeholders on a regular basis, also prior to SCCR discussions, and coordinates with Member States, interventions at the SCCR in view of the fact that the current discussions consist of an exchange of national practices and taking into account that the definition and practical implementation of copyright exceptions in Member States may vary.

The Commission remains available to inform the European Parliament about progress in SCCR discussions on any matter, including on the issue of exceptions for libraries, archives and museums.