IFRRO submission to public consultation by UN HCHR on the impact of IPR on the enjoyment of right to science and culture

Following the UN HCHR Special Rapporteur’s invitation for public comments (see: here), IFRRO has made a submission to the consultation regarding the impact of intellectual property regimes on the enjoyment of the right to science and culture.

IFRRO’s comments can be summarised as follows:

  1. It is important to ensure appropriate legal user access to cultural and scientific knowledge, including through educational / research institutions and libraries. It is equally vital that this is done in a way that safeguards the interests of the author, publisher and other copyright holders. The copyright system, whilst enabling justified legal access for users to copyright works in the easiest possible way, must also ensure that it promotes creativity and innovation.
  2. Organisations representing libraries, archives, authors, publishers and RROs have a proven track record in developing solutions for libraries and archives to access cultural heritage, based on joint stakeholder dialogues. Together with its strategic partners, IFRRO works to raise awareness regarding the importance of the cultural sector and cultural diversity, and to promote enhanced access to copyright-protected works through developing and strengthening the necessary infrastructure for CMOs.
  3. The use of copyright material for research purposes is commonly comprised in the licences offered by publishers. Certain uses of copyright works in conjunction with research are also authorised through schemes administered by Reproduction Rights Organisations (RROs).
  4. Solutions to access scientific information for the purpose of research can readily be offered under the current copyright system. Authors and publishers are providing access both via Open Access and for Text and Data Mining (TDM). Licensing solutions exist for commercial and non-commercial uses, offered by copyright holders directly, and via collective rights management.
  5. IFRRO supports appropriate Intellectual Property Rights as a means to creating functional incentives for investment in products and services based on those rights, thereby leading to a richer body of cultural, creative, scientific and academic works. Also, IFRRO is committed to assisting communities in developing frameworks furthering cultural and academic progress and stimulating incentives for investing in cultural and creative industries and practical implementation, inter alia through RROs.
  6. In order to help authors and publishers to fully enjoy their right to benefit from the protection of moral and material interests, IFRRO urges to focus on the implementation of legislation and current stakeholder-driven solutions. The UN HCHR is encouraged to offer support to individual and collective rights management schemes. Such schemes, offered by rightholders and RROs, provide the broadest and most adequate legal access to intellectual property to the educational and research communities, as well as libraries. Agreements with authors, publishers and RROs offer flexible, comprehensive and tailor-made solutions to access scientific and literary works to meet the needs of educational institutions and other user communities; it represents the safest, simplest, fastest, most innovative, most convenient and most cost efficient way to seamless access to high quality teaching material from multiple authors and publishers. IFRRO therefore embraces the emphasis placed on the protection of intellectual property rights, as outlined also in Article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

IFRRO’s complete submission is available here (attached).