ICOM shows its support for library and archive colleagues in their attempt to gain traction for copyright exceptions, whose progress was blocked recently by the European Union (EU). Through the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright & Related Rights (SCCR), the cultural heritage community, comprising libraries, archives and museums, now needs all the support it can get, given the conflicting message coming from the EU.
For more than 5 years, WIPO has hosted Intergovernmental Committee meetings about the potential of creating international consensus surrounding library and archive exceptions to copyright for educational and scholarly purposes. Over the course of the past two years, ICOM, with the assistance of its Legal Affairs Committee and with the approval of the Executive Council has represented museum interests at these meetings, instilling an understanding with representatives both governmental and non-governmental, that museums hold mandates similar to its sister organisations, being libraries and archives, and should to the extent that they carry out similar mandates and functions, benefit from similar exceptions to copyright law. On this basis, the Legal Affairs Committee of ICOM sought input and developed a call for exceptions that meets the scholarly and educational needs of museums.
Why reproduction and distribution of collections? Why exceptions to copyright for museums? Read in full ICOM’s statement concerning exceptions to copyright.