Copyright and COVID: What Should the World Intellectual Property Organization Do?

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Global Congress on IP and the Public Interest - Week of Intellectual Property, the Public Interest and Covid-19

October 6, 2020
8am UCT-5 (9am EST / 3pm CEST) 

COVID has laid bare many of the inadequacies of the international copyright framework that have long been recognized by public interest stakeholders. A system in which there are detailed mandatory protections, but very few mandatory exceptions, has promoted a patchwork of laws in which online access to research and education materials are not equally supported everywhere. Libraries, archives, museums, schools and research institutions are facing copyright barriers to producing and sharing information that is critical to our ability to find solutions to the pandemic (e.g. through text and data mining research) and to carry on learning in the face of physical closures. Official observers of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights will survey the needs for harmonization of copyright exceptions and how the current agenda at WIPO SCCR could be mobilized toward that end.


  • Sean Flynn, American University Washington College of Law (Chair)
  • Stephen Wyber, IFLA
  • Jean Dryden,  International Council on Archives
  • Nikola Wachter, Education International
  • Mike Palmedo, PIJIP
  • Teresa Nobre, Communia