Frequently Asked Questions - EIFL - IP

EIFL-IP is a program of The purpose of the program is to protect and promote the interests of libraries in copyright issues in developing and transition countries. EIFL-IP builds capacity among the library community in member countries, and has created a network of library copyright specialists. who advocate for national and international copyright law reform. The vision is that EIFL librarians will become activists for fair and balanced copyright laws and community leaders in promoting access to knowledge, especially in the digital age.

EIFL-IP works in member countries of EIFL. Currently this is in the regions of Africa, central, eastern and southern Europe, the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and south-east Asia. See "Where we work" for information about EIFL member consortium.

National EIFL-IP representatives are nominated by the EIFL member consortium. In some cases, this is the same person as the EIFL country coordinator. Representatives have received training in copyright issues and advocacy for libraries during three regional workshops. They form the backbone of the network, and are a focal point for national copyright issues, as well as providing input into international policy fora. See EIFL-IP National Copyright Experts for names and contact details. EIFL-IP is managed by Teresa Hackett with an Advisory Board (see Program Management).

EIFL-IP is concerned with copyright and related issues for libraries, with a special focus on developing and transition countries.

We advocate for national and international copyright laws that are fair and balanced, especially in the digital environment. Issues include:

  • the relationship between copyright and contract law: electronic resources and library consortia;
  • technological protection measures (TPMs);
  • copyright, the duration of protection and the public domain;
  • orphaned works;
  • collective rights management;
  • public lending right;
  • database right;
  • Creative Commons: an "open content" licence;
  • open access to scholarly communications;
  • copyright and trade agreements; 
  • international policy making: a development agenda for WIPO; 
  • national policy making: advocating for fair copyright laws.

For a brief description of each issue, the main policy aspects for libraries and links to library policy statements, see the EIFL Handbook on Copyright and Related Issues for Libraries.

Copyright is the exclusive right to authorise or prohibit the reproduction of artistic, dramatic, literary or musical works. Copyright may be held either by the original creator or their heirs, or else the creator may sell the rights to their works to a company e.g. a publisher. Copyright rules are set by international treaties e.g. Berne Convention; regional laws e.g. European copyright directive and national laws. See also here.