May 23, 2022

Article: “Time For a Single Global Copyright Framework For Libraries And Archives”

The article (approx. 1500 words), “Time For a Single Global Copyright Framework For Libraries And Archives,” was written by Teresa Hackett, Copyright and Libraries Program Manager, Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) and appears in the December 2015 issue of WIPO Magazine. The article includes an embedded table and infographic.

From the Article:

Nearly half of WIPO’s member states – 90 of them (48 percent of the total) – do not explicitly allow libraries to make copies for research or study. The situation is even worse for archives, with two-thirds – 126 countries or 67 per cent of them –not permitting archives to make copies for research or study purposes. Moreover, 89 countries (47 per cent of the total surveyed) do not explicitly allow libraries to make copies for preservation purposes; and 85 of them (45 per cent of the total) do not allow archives to make such copies.

It is possible that this situation will improve as national laws are updated, but the trend regarding digital services suggests otherwise. Where countries have amended their copyright laws in the last five years, digital copying, in some cases even for preservation activities, is expressly barred in over one third of them.


Quality research requires access to a broad range of research materials and an information infrastructure that supports easy access to international research results. Lack of such access means missed opportunities and delayed discoveries.

This is why libraries and archives are asking WIPO’s member states at the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights for an international treaty to establish basic global standards to ensure equal treatment of digital resources, to protect the ability of libraries and archives to acquire and lend digital collections, and to safeguard our cultural and scientific heritage in the digital environment.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: WIPO Study on Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives (November 19, 2014)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.