Copyright reform in Armenia

EIFL supports libraries in Armenia for copyright law reform

You are here

Hasmik Galstyan, EIFL Copyright Coordinator, Satenik (Bella) Avagyan, AGBU Papazian Library Director, Prof Kenneth Crews, and Teresa Hackett, Copyright and Libraries Programme Manager during a visit to Armenia, October 2015
Left to right: Hasmik Galstyan, EIFL Copyright Coordinator, Satenik (Bella) Avagyan, AGBU Papazian Library Director, Prof Kenneth Crews, and Teresa Hackett, Copyright and Libraries Programme Manager during a visit to Armenia, October 2015.

EIFL has been engaged in copyright work in Armenia since 2012 with our partner, the Digital Library Association of Armenia (DLAA). We support advocacy to update the Law on Copyright and Related Rights (2006) for education, research and library activities, such as, the provision of information services to people with disabilities. The draft law on copyright (2017) contains useful new provisions that, if adopted, will support libraries and their work.

We also helped to build capacity of librarians in copyright issues - the Armenian translation of EIFL's Handbook on Copyright and Related Issues (2012) was the first library copyright resource in the Armenian language, and EIFL's Copyright Coordinator has represented library interests at national level (through engagement with the copyright office), and at international level at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva.

In Armenia, the stakeholder group that showed the most vivid interest was the library community. Our discussions, attended by a wide range of librarians, were very constructive and I learned at first-hand about the specific problems for  libraries in Armenia – for a legislator a very precious experience on one hand, and a great challenge on the other. Having heard the voice of the Armenian library community, I changed several provisions in the pre-draft text to meet their concerns as far as possible, especially the chapter on exceptions and limitations, while safeguarding the framework of international and European legislation to which the Republic of Armenia is committed.” - Dr Miha Trampuz, appointed expert to develop a modern and European Union-compliant draft Law on Copyright and Related Rights of the Republic of Armenia (2013).


Armenia joined WIPO and the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2003. Armenia is party to international treaties including the Berne Convention, Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the WIPO internet treaties and the Marrakesh Treaty for persons with print disabilities. Armenia is also a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

In 2013, in the context of negotiations with the European Union (EU) to create a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), a review of Armenian Law on Copyright and Related Rights (2006) was undertaken to assess alignment with EU laws. (In the end, the DCFTA did not go ahead. Current relations are based on the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement).

Libraries in Armenia play an important role in developing a democratic society and in providing support for education and research. They supplement print collections with a range of electronic resources and they offer digital services to library users. However basic activities such as digitization and electronic document delivery are hampered by the copyright law that does not cater for the digital environment. Librarians need to be involved in copyright law reform to ensure that the new law meets the modern information needs of libraries and library users in Armenia today.


2012 – ongoing

Main activities and achievements


  • EIFL supported an advocacy campaign for copyright reform. The project partners were DLAA (formerly Electronic Library Consortium of Armenia (ELCA)), and the American University of Armenia (AUA). The Project Manager was Hasmik Galystan, EIFL Copyright Coordinator in Armenia. A Library Copyright Committee was established to advise on project activities.
  • Dr Maja Bogataj Jančič, Institute of Intellectual Property, Slovenia, provided a legal analysis of the library provisions in the copyright law with recommendations for amendments.
  • As a result of the project, limitations and exceptions (L&Es) for libraries in the pre-draft copyright law were substantially improved, a professional relationship with the Armenian copyright office was developed, and library leadership was strengthened with new knowledge and confidence to debate copyright issues.
  • Activities included a roundtable discussion on copyright issues with an international library delegation and officials at the Armenian Intellectual Property Agency (AIPA) (July); the Library Copyright Committee met Dr Miha Trampuz, an EU expert appointed to make a pre-draft of the new copyright law, to discuss library concerns (August); a follow-up discussion was organized with AIPA and 15 library Directors and ELCA members - there was consensus on the need to address gaps in the law to enable libraries to provide digital services to meet the needs of the academic and user community (September).
  • In October, the EIFL Handbook on Copyright and Related Issues was translated and adapted for Armenian law, the first resource on library copyright issued in the Armenian language. As a result, librarians could learn about copyright issues and contribute their views to the debates.
  • In November, copyright officials learnt at first hand the views of librarians around the country. Two seminars, in Lori Regional Library (Vanadzor), and Shirak Regional Library (Gyumri), organized in cooperation with AIPA, were attended by more than 100 participants from libraries, archives and museums, faculty and student councils. Participants had the opportunity to meet copyright officials from Yerevan for the first time, to ask questions and to clarify many issues. In addition, libraries were invited for the first time to take part in multi-stakeholder events. The VI International Forum of Translators and Publishers, part of Yerevan World Book Capital 2012, and a seminar organized by an EU Twinning Project on Strengthening the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights provided an opportunity for librarians to remind participants that stronger copyright enforcement goes hand-in-hand with fair and reasonable user freedoms.




2022 - 2023

  • In 2022, Armenia joined the Marrakesh Treaty for persons with print disabilities, and the treaty entered into force in Armenia on 1 September 2022.
  • In 2023, EIFL published an Information Note, Can libraries in Armenia use the Marrakesh Treaty? Yes! The note explains that international treaties in Armenia have direct effect, therefore libraries and people with print disabilities can immediately start using the treaty to create and distribute accessible format copies in Armenia, and with other Marrakesh countries around the world. While the draft copyright law (2017), that includes provisions implementing the Marrakesh Treaty, is waiting to be adopted, people are already benefiting from the treaty.

Next steps

EIFL and DLAA look forward to the new law that we hope meets the needs of library activities and services in Armenia.

Read more

Copyright in Armenia - will library expectations be met?