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The WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR/24) met in Geneva for 10 days, ending in the early hours of 26th July 2012 after tough negotiations on the meeting conclusions. The meeting had three agenda items - the protection of broadcasting organizations, the contribution of the SCCR to implementation of the Development Agenda recommendations, and exceptions and limitations. Exceptions and limitations is concerned with libraries and archives, blind and visually impaired people, while three extra days were dedicated to educational and research institutions and persons with other disabilities.
On libraries and archives, the Committee agreed to adopt its provisional document (SCCR/23/8) setting out eleven topics for future discussion, and to work towards an international legal instrument for libraries and archives by May/June 2014 (SCCR/28).
On blind and visually impaired people, Member States agreed to hold an extra session in October 2012 to finalise the text of an instrument, then to convene an extraordinary General Assembly in December 2012 in order to decide on whether to hold a Diplomatic Conference (the final stage before a treaty) in 2013.
On education and other disabilities, the Committee adopted a provisional document (SCCR/24/7) with proposals and textual comments, and agreed to continue discussions with a target to submit recommendations by May/June 2015 (SCCR/30).
EIFL welcomes the progress made on all exceptions and limitations and the adoption of a workplan on libraries and archives. We especially welcome that a door has been opened for a treaty for blind and visually impaired people, supported by all regional groups from the developing world, but are disappointed that there is less agreement on the text under negotiation since the last SCCR.