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The Library of Congress > Digital Preservation > News Archive > NDIIPP Helps Coordinate WIPO Workshop

August 4, 2008 -- The Library of Congress, through the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, and three international partners cooperated with the World Intellectual Property Organization in presenting an International Workshop on Digital Preservation and Copyright (external link) in Geneva, Switzerland on July 15, 2008.

In preparation for the workshop, the Library and partners from the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Australia prepared a report, International Study on The Impact of Copyright Law on Digital Preservation (PDF, 1.58MB). The report provides guidelines for legislative reform and other solutions to ensure that libraries, archives and other preservation institutions can manage copyrighted digital information in a manner consistent with the law.

The workshop was attended by representatives from many countries around the world, and featured a broad survey of recent developments and trends at the intersection of digital preservation and copyright. WIPO aimed for the event to contribute to the debate among stakeholders on how to improve policies and practices that support digital preservation of copyrighted content.

Clifford Lynch, Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information (external link), provided the keynote. "The legal and economic challenges may exceed the technical challenge," said Lynch. He stated that since there are no models for potential legal costs in connection with managing copyrighted material, libraries and other custodians may be forced to weigh risks in considering making stewardship commitments for digital material with copyright restrictions. Lynch noted further that the primary issue with such materials is access rather than preservation; this point arose frequently during the sessions that followed.

The workshop featured a panel on current legal and contractual approaches to accommodating digital preservation and copyright in specific jurisdictions. Separate panels with representatives from both preserving institutions as well as right holders also discussed copyright issues specific to the preservation of eJournals, newspapers and images, and online content. A final session assessed the possible future use of legislative and voluntary measures to strengthen the links between digital preservation and copyright law.