Our Stand on Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Associated Information Institutions



Librarians from Benin Republic, Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, Eswatini, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe met in Nairobi for the 3rd AfLIA Conference and 5th African Libraries Summit 19-24th May, 2019. To achieve the ambition of providing equitable information services and making resources available to everyone, thus assist in achieving the SDGs and the AU 2063 Agenda, AfLIA looks forward to participating in the WIPO seminar – Regional Seminar for the African Group on Libraries, Archives, Museums and Educational & Research Institutions in the Field of Copyright – in Nairobi, 11-13th June, 2019.

As the recognized and trusted voice for the African Library and information institutions sector, we hereby call on African governments to consider the roles and functions of libraries of different types, archives, museums and research institutions in the provision of information services, ensuring quality education and lifelong learning, building cultural identity, bridging the digital divide, preservation of culture and transforming communities as they make decisions about Copyright limitations and exceptions. Libraries and these information institutions play vital roles in supporting education, research and development as well as helping to achieve progress in all of the SDGs and the AU 2063 Agenda. Innovation is crucial in the 21st century. Many of the world’s most successful and innovative countries recognize the importance of embedding complete set of limitations and exceptions in their Copyright laws as a means of supporting long-term growth and equity. However, too many countries in the African continent have no provisions allowing libraries and associated information institutions to carry out basic activities, such as making a copy of a journal article for a researcher, or undertaking vital preservation work. Even where such provisions exist, they are often not adapted for the digital age.

AfLIA believes that access to and sharing of information is vital for building up the innovative quotient of the continent. AfLIA is therefore committed to advocating for fair and balanced copyright laws with robust exceptions for libraries and associated information institutions in the continent which will provide the needed legal leverage for enhanced services to our communities efficiently and broadly through offline and online platforms.

About the Author

This post was authored by Dr. Helena Asamoah-Hassan, Executive Director, AfLIA. Connect with Dr. Asamoah-Hassan on Facebook here.

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