We need minimal standards of exceptions for education and research

“We believe that there is a minimum set of access and use rights that should be defined by public rules, since they are justified by public interests. If copyright laws do not grant to the education and research communities, the cultural heritage institutions, and the persons with disabilities the same level of protection that is granted to rightsholders, and defer to private agreements the regulation of all uses of copyrighted materials, they perpetuate an unbalanced power structure […]. In order to have a minimum set of rules that are applied uniformly by every Member State and have a cross-border effect we need an international law.”

This statement was given by Teresa Nobre – a representative of Communia, which is a permanent observer of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), taking place this week at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva.

Such international law is TERA (Treaty on Copyright Exceptions and Limitations on Education and Research Activities), that was drafted by 15 civil society organizations, amongst which also IPI, and endorsed on 25 September 2018 on the global congress “IP and the Public Interest” that took place at the American University Washington College of Law. This international instrument would ensure minimal standards of exceptions for educational and research purposes, while at the same time enabling countries flexibility in how to implement the obligations.