|Weekly News Digest
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IFLA Shares WIPO Conference News
IFLA released a roundup of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) General Assembly, which was held Sept. 21–25, 2020, in Geneva and online. It states the following:
The agenda of this, the 61st meeting, included several important items including the overall governance of the Organization, programming and budgeting, the Treaties of which WIPO is the guardian, and staffing matters. …
IFLA, like others, highlighted in particular the success of the Treaty of Marrakesh. … This Treaty, aimed at facilitating access to published works for people who are blind or visually impaired, has now been ratified, or acceded to, by 71 contracting parties, which together with Europe brings the number of ratifying countries to 98 countries.
In its statement, IFLA congratulated WIPO on the work done, highlighting the essential role of libraries in the ABC Book Service. IFLA also stressed the need to continue promoting accurate information about the Treaty in order to ensure the most effective possible implementations at the national level. …
A key moment of controversy was around the opposition of China to the application of the Wikimedia Foundation as an observer to WIPO on a mixture of procedural and political grounds. As a result, the candidacy is now suspended until a next meeting of WIPO in 2021.
The blocking of the Foundation’s application is troubling, given the shared goals that IFLA and Wikimedia share. The intervention of the United States in order to support Wikimedia’s foundation was therefore welcome, but the silence of other blocs less so.
For more information, read the press release.
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