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Welcome to the August edition of IFRRO news 

It has been a strange and difficult year for the IFRRO community, and the authors, visual artists and publishers we represent. At the time of writing there is no indication of when life may return to normal, or what that new normal may be.

As we have missed the opportunity to meet face to face, we want to share an overview of IFRRO activities in the past few months, and to inform you about the plans for the 2020 Annual General Meeting, which will be held virtually on 4 November 2020.    

IFRRO Meetings

Due to the impact of the pandemic, all IFRRO meetings since March have been organised as virtual meetings, including the June Board meeting.  

Despite constraints imposed by time differences, the meetings have been well attended, with more than 158 representatives from over 79 member organisations and several observers, including WIPO, ARIPO, OAPI and CISAC. 

The meetings included:

  • Latin American Committee (5 and 19 June)
  • Equipment Levy Forum (22 June)
  • Board meeting (24 June)
  • European Group seminar and Content for Education website launch (7 July)
  • African Committee (9 and 23 July)
  • Asia Pacific Committee (16 July)
Information about each of the meetings, including the agenda, papers and presentations are available on the Members Only section of the IFRRO website. We are also planning several additional meetings in September and October such as the Public Lending Right Forum meeting which will take place on 2 September. Information about each of these meetings will be circulated closer to the planned meeting dates.  
Some pictures of IFRRO’s virtual meetings 
COVID-19 and the IFRRO Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2020
Due to the impact of the pandemic, IFRRO will not hold the International World Congress in Singapore this year as planned. Rather, we will hold a virtual Annual General Meeting on 4 November 2020, from 13.00 – 15.00 CET. The meeting time was chosen as it was convenient for a majority of members.  

As a global organisation, we recognise that the chosen time is not convenient for all of our community, and have put measures in place to ensure inclusivity.

Firstly, we will enable members who cannot attend the virtual meeting to vote remotely by appointing a proxy and directing how that proxy is to vote on their behalf. We will also, if members in a particular region request so, hold a pre-AGM briefing at a time convenient to them in advance of the deadline for written votes to be submitted (31 October).

Voting for those members attending the AGM will also be managed in advance of the meeting – primarily because of the requirements of Belgian law, but also for reasons of transparency and equity. 

Further information about these procedures and the remote voting / proxy forms will be sent to you well in advance of the meeting, along with the meeting papers. If you have any questions, please contact Tadhg O’Carroll at the Secretariat (
IFRRO AGM 2019, Edinburgh
2021 IFRRO Meeting Planning 
The IFRRO Secretariat is planning for the usual work and meeting schedule in 2021, involving face to face meeting and networking opportunities. 

Despite the delay of a year, CLASS has extended a very warm invitation to host the 2021 International World Conference in Singapore. We will communicate the dates of the meeting to members as soon as possible.    

IFRRO will hold its mid-year meetings in Oslo from 25 – 27 May, 2021, kindly hosted by Kopinor. The programme for the meetings and other information about the venue will be circulated to members in the near future. 

We have not yet scheduled the regional meetings for 2021, however once the locations and dates for those meetings have been agreed with the Chairs of the Regional Committees, we will inform members. 

For those of you interested in Public Lending Right, in 2021 we will also be organising the biennial PLR International meeting. We expect to be in a position to announce the location and dates for this meeting well before the end of this calendar year. 
 IFRRO Activities 

Despite the constraints of the current situation we have continued with our planned activities as far as possible. However, some projects such as our development cooperation with WIPO in Peru have had to be deferred, due to the impact of the pandemic. Following is a review of some recent activities:

The largest project IFRRO has underway in Africa is the North and West Africa Project, a development cooperation activity with WIPO, aimed at implementing the necessary conditions for reprographic licensing in a group of seven North and West African Countries (Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia). The project uses a “cluster” approach, in which a group of countries at a similar stage of development work together and learn from each other’s experiences as the project develops. We anticipate that this will result in a support network that will continue after the project itself concludes.

Indications so far are promising with several countries implementing legislation and expanding the capacity of existing multi-purpose CMOs. As an example, in Burkina Faso, private copying compensation will now be shared with text and image rightsholders. In Tunisia, private copying legislation was amended in June to include reprographic devices and to share the compensation with writers and publishers. In Côte d’Ivoire, the decrees needed to implement the reprography remuneration will be adopted in the coming months.

Africa has a number of intergovernmental organisations active in copyright and collective management, such as UEMOA, ARIPO and OAPI. These organisations aim to harmonise the law in the countries in which they are active and are important partners for IFRRO.

An example of a current project is the cooperation between WIPO, UEMOA and CISAC to introduce private copying compensation in the 8 Member States of UEMOA. The first stage of the project is a report by experts Joseph Fometeu (Cameroon) and Xavier Blanc (France), currently under preparation, which will assess the legislation of the 8 UEMOA Member States and also other countries in which private copying is well-established. The second stage, to be completed in 2021, is drafting a private copying compensation directive, to be implemented by all eight UEMOA Member States.

We have also worked closely with our members IPA, IAF and STM in responding to two important initiatives from ARIPO, the first for a model law on copyright and the second on a protocol for a regional voluntary copyright registration system in ARIPO Member States.

We were pleased to see that the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, decided to send the defective Copyright Bill back to parliament for review, citing the legality of the fair use exception in the Bill, as well as the copyright exceptions that “may constitute arbitrary deprivation of property; may violate the right to freedom of trade, occupation and profession, and may be in conflict with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Treaty and the WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty, both of which South Africa subscribes to.”

IFRRO has worked closely with our South African members, DALRO and PASA and also with international member associations IPA, FEP, STM, and IAF towards this objective. We also formed alliances with other creative sectors, working with CISAC, ICMP and MPA.
Statement from President Cyril Ramaphosa on
We also supported our members in Botswana and Zambia, assisting them with tariff-setting, adapting distribution rules during the pandemic, and communication with government to fast-track the implementation of educational licensing.
Asia Pacific
The focus of our recent work in the Asia Pacific region has been at a national level. An example is working with our Indonesian member, PRCI, to develop draft regulations regarding collective management to present to government, in order to establish an effective operating environment for PRCI. This activity is part of a Swiss government funded capacity building project in Indonesia, also involving CLASS in Singapore as a mentor organisation. 

We are also working on a joint project with WIPO in Malaysia, focused on establishing collective management for text and images in that country. In that project we are working with the IPA member, MABOPA, and IAF’s member the Malaysian Writers Society. Due to the pandemic this project is proceeding more slowly than planned. We are, however, hopeful of results by early next year.

IFRRO has also made submissions on proposed copyright amendments in China and in Singapore on the proposed Licensing Scheme and Code of Conduct for Collective Management Organisations

At IFRRO’s Asia Pacific Committee meeting in July, members shared news about recent developments in their countries. Further information is available in the National Reports submitted to the meeting, available on the Members Only section of the IFRRO website.  

Recent developments include the early implementation of the new compulsory licence for education in Japan, as a result of the Japanese government wanting to ensure that the shift to online learning required by the pandemic had a firm legal basis. Unfortunately, the licence will operate without payment in the first year, however our Japanese members are confident that payment will be introduced in 2021. An additional concern is to ensure that the licence supports licensing activities by our members and does not undermine the legitimate markets of copyright owners.  

In the Republic of Korea, the statutory text book licence will be amended in August to include online digital uses, which KORRA expects will lead to an uplift in the fees they collect.  

HKRRLS reported on a pilot collaboration with the Hong Kong Public Libraries. To enrich reader experiences, HKRRLS will make digital copies of cover images, extracts, author profiles and other promotional material available to the libraries, and also invite local authors to participate in activities at the libraries to promote reading. In exchange the library will pay a fee of HK$30 million for distribution to participating authors and publishers.

In New Zealand, rightsholder groups had a recent victory, when the government agreed to withdraw a November 2019 discussion paper that included new review objectives, that had not been consulted on, and that ignored an author’s Human Right to earn from their work along with side-lining others in the books ecosystem. A consultation process on objectives will take place later in 2020. Also in New Zealand, an issues paper on the review of the PLR system has been released, which considers the inclusion of e-books and the relationship of accessible format copies made under Marrakesh exceptions, and the PLR system. The government will now work on a policy response.      

In Australia, the ACCC has released draft legislation for the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code. Copyright Agency’s submission on the Concepts Paper, which preceded the draft Code is available here. The draft Code is open for comment until 28 August.
Americas and the Caribbean
IFRRO has cooperated with the USPTO on awareness raising about collective management in the text and image sector in both Bolivia and Ecuador. IFRRO members, CEDRO and CADRA took part in virtual seminars on 20 May and 14 July. The seminars were recorded and will be edited and made available to provide a Spanish language resource for others interested in establishing an RRO. 

We understand that a new RRO, Escribo, has now been formed in Bolivia and will shortly be authorised to commence operations. This is an exciting development in the region and we congratulate all of our members whose work contributed to its establishment.

IFRRO is also sponsoring a virtual seminar in Panama on 13 -14 August as part of the Book Fair, partnering with WIPO, the regional intellectual property organisation CERLALC, the Ministry of Culture and Panama’s Book Chamber. The programme for the event includes speakers from the following IFRRO member organisations: CADRA, CCC, CEDRO, CDR, CeMPro and SEA Panama. The key topic is copyright in the digital era, touching upon issues such as regional challenges, reprography, legislation, e-books, and the impact of the pandemic.

In national developments, in Mexico, pressure from the rightsholder community for the implementation of private copying compensation has intensified, culminating in the drafting of provisions that, if passed by the parliament, will enable the sharing of private copying compensation with writers, publishers, and visual artists. CeMPro played an active role representing the text and image sector in hearings at the Chamber of Deputies.

In the Caribbean, JAMCOPY was planning to celebrate its 21st birthday this year, but celebrations have been put on hold due to restrictions imposed as a result of the pandemic. IFRRO congratulates JAMCOPY on this milestone and we look forward to celebrating with them when circumstances permit.
Negotiations between CARROSA (a grouping of IFRRO’s Caribbean members established to manage copyright licensing across national borders) and the University of the West Indies for a regional licence are moving closer to being finalised. In a parallel development, the University of the West Indies settled its liability with B-COPY for the period up to August 2020. 

We were also delighted to hear that in Chile, SADEL has won some long-standing legal cases against universities and as a result of the victory, has signed a number of licences.

In Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal decision in the York University litigation was handed down on 22 April. Access Copyright and York University have both lodged applications for leave to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.

On 1 June, four members of the Association of American Publishers filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Internet Archive, and the so-called Emergency Library. A number of IFRRO members had been actively campaigning against the activities of the Emergency Library, including the Authors Guild and the National Writers Union. The Internet Archive closed the Emergency Library two weeks after the litigation was launched. 
A focal point for IFRRO’s activity in Europe has been the implementation of the EU Copyright in the Digital Single Market (“DSM”) Directive (2019/790). EU countries have until 7 June 2021 to implement the provisions of the Directive into national law.  

We have been supporting members during the process of national implementation in various ways, including by monitoring and updating members about relevant national and EU-level developments via regular emails; facilitating the exchange of information and best practices via meetings / webinars; development of communication materials and guidance; and engagement with key stakeholders, such as the European Commission (EC) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
If requested, we provide support to members by making submissions on the national implementation of the Directive. So far, we have made submissions in Cyprus, Hungary and Spain. IFRRO is working closely with members to maximise the opportunities and minimise the risks in relation to specific aspects of the Directive.

For example, as educational licensing represents a large part of the licensing undertaken by IFRRO members, the implementation of the exception for digital and cross border teaching activities (Article 5) is particularly important. The exception can be made subject to fair compensation or a licence override, however this is optional, so it is possible that the exception may be implemented without payment in some EU countries.

In order to demonstrate the value of collective licensing for education and raise awareness about the importance of having a balanced approach to national implementation of the exception, IFRRO has re-launched the Content for Education website, which contains a great deal of information, including about collective licensing solutions across Europe and how they benefit authors, publishers, educational establishments and their students. See also the detailed Q&A document.
The Directive, under Articles 8-11, also provides an opportunity for CMOs to conclude licences for the digitisation and dissemination of out-of-commerce works (OOCW) permanently in the collection of cultural heritage institutions (CHIs), but also includes a ‘fall back’ exception where no “sufficiently representative” CMO exists which has raised concerns. This topic was discussed at a meeting of  IFRRO members in Brussels in February (see details here).

IFRRO has engaged in the development of the EUIPO’s OOCW Portal, required under the Directive, through which libraries can advise their intention to digitise OOCW in their collections, and through which rightsholders can monitor these digitisation projects (see the High Level Specification Document). The effective and efficient operation of the Portal is of great importance not only to EU rightsholders, but also to non-EU rightsholders, as their works may also be digitised. IFRRO has been working closely with the EUIPO, together with IFRRO members including FEP, EVA and EWC, in order to help shape the development of the Portal, and in particular the opt-out mechanism for rightsholders.

The Portal is now in the development phase and will be launched by 7 June 2021, as required by the Directive.

As participants in the EC’s Stakeholder Dialogue on the application of Article 17 of the Directive, which introduces new rules for online content-sharing service providers, IFRRO and a number of its members are now being consulted on a document that sets out the EC’s initial ideas for the guidance on Article 17 of the Directive (see here), that Member States have to transpose by June 2021.

The EC is also looking ahead and has launched several consultations including on  an IP Action Plan Roadmap (see here), a new Digital Education Action Plan (see here), a Digital Services Act (see here) and Digital for Cultural Heritage (see here). IFRRO is currently preparing responses to these consultations. 

IFRRO has also been closely following EU developments relating to data privacy. A major recent development was the “Schrems II” judgment by the EU’s Court of Justice, a case about whether and how personal data can be transferred to countries outside of the UK / EU (see European Data Protection Board FAQ here). The judgment invalidated the EU-US “Privacy-Shield” with immediate effect. While the use of EU Standard Contractual Clauses (SCC), which is proposed as an option in IFRRO’s sample bilateral agreement (see here), generally remains a valid means of transferring personal data outside of the EU, the ruling puts additional burdens on their use. We are currently obtaining legal advice on the implications of the judgment for IFRRO members and will follow-up with members very shortly. 

The newsletter format cannot cover these initiatives in detail, and the Secretariat already provides regular email updates to members from Catherine Starkie on European issues to the European Group. 

However, as our members outside Europe have indicated they have an interest in European developments, we have now extended the mailing list for the European Group to include “observers”. If any IFRRO member would like to be included in that mailing list and receive regular updates on European matters, please advise Veraliah Bueno at the Secretariat (  

In June, the Secretariat participated in a webinar organised by the Serbian Intellectual Property Office, and we have also been working with members from around the region on developing licensing and reciprocal agreements.
IFRRO member survey on the impact of corona virus (II)

In closing, we would like to remind you that we have recently circulated a further survey on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their activities to our members, and we encourage you to respond to and provide the information requested by 31 August. Your responses are a valuable resource for our community, as the information contained in the report of our first survey in March indicates.
Best regards to you, your staff and all of your families.
     From all of us at the Secretariat, please stay safe and well.     
Copyright © 2020 IFRRO, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO)
Rue du Prince Royal 85- 87
1050 Brussels - Belgium
Phone: +32 2 234 62 60

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IFRRO · Rue du Prince Royal · 85-87 · Ixelles 1050 · Belgium