EIFL and partner organizations in the library, archives and museum communities have made 20 recommendations for amendments in a public consultation on WIPO’s Good Practice Toolkit for Collective Management Organizations (CMOs), published in 2018.
CMOs are organizations that manage rights on behalf of authors, performing artists, producers and other rights owners. The CMO with which a library has the most dealings is usually a reproduction rights organization (RRO), that grants licences for the making of copies (photocopying and/or digital copies).
Raising standards for transparency and fairness
The recommendations focus on raising management and governance standards in CMOs, and cover issues such as transparency in revenue distribution (by publishing a breakdown of revenues between domestic and foreign rightsholders), safeguarding against undue influence on government policy (where CMOs are organized as part of government, clear provisions are needed to prevent undue influence on policy to the detriment of users of copyright-protected material), and showing fairness towards public interest institutions such as libraries, archives and museums (by taking into account the different purposes and contexts for use of licensed material).
We also suggest adding definitions to clarify the meaning of certain terms used in the toolkit i.e. ‘general public’, ‘fees’ and ‘remuneration’, adding a new section in CMO annual reports indicating progress towards fulfilling the recommendations in the WIPO toolkit, and making the toolkit itself easier to use by making it available as a clickable pdf file or in html format.
Well-documented controversies by CMOs risk not only wasting public money used to fund libraries, archives and museums, they also deprive authors and creators of income, thereby undermining the credibility of the copyright system as well as those who promote collective management solutions.
The recommendations for amendments were submitted to WIPO together with the Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA), the International Council on Archives (ICA), the International Council of Museums (ICOM), the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), and the Society of American Archivists (SAA).
Read the full recommendations.
- EIFL-KLISC comments on Kenya’s CMO policy framework (2021).
- Making CMOs work for libraries - EIFL comments on the draft Good Practice Toolkit for CMOs being developed by WIPO (2018)