Centre for Internet & Society

Dr. Sumit Seth(Economic Affairs) of the Permanent Mission of India in Geneva delivered the Opening Statement on behalf of the Asia and the Pacific Group at 33rd Session of the of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights on 14th November 2016.

Mr. Chair,
India has the honor to deliver the Opening Statement on behalf of the Asia and the Pacific Group in this 33rd Session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights.
Asia & the Pacific Group would like to express its confidence in your experience and your leadership skills. We are confident that your hard work and diligence will yield desired results and help this committee reach a mutual understanding on all outstanding issues. Our group would also like to thank the WIPO Secretariat for the preparation of this meeting.

Mr. Chair,
The SCCR is an important committee of WIPO dealing with three issues of critical importance to member states, namely protection of broadcasting organizations; limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives; and limitations and exceptions for educational and research institutions and for persons with other disabilities.
These three issues are of great importance to our group. Going by the discussions in this committee since its 27th session, it would not be wrong to say that we are facing difficulty in finding agreement on how to continue our work on each of the three important agenda items. We believe, in order to further our work, we have to refer to the 2012 General Assembly guidance to the SCCR on the work plan on the three issues.

Mr. Chair,
Our group believes that these issues have not received the equal level of commitment and understanding proportionate to their importance based on the differential socio-economic development of the Member States.
In this spirit of multilateralism, Asia and the Pacific Group reaffirms its commitment to engage constructively in negotiating a mutually acceptable outcome on all three issues before the committee. Our group would like to put on record its support for the proposed program of work.

Mr. Chair,
Determining whether and how intellectual property rights should apply with respect to broadcasting is a developmental issue that requires careful balancing. Members of the group would like to see the finalization of a balanced treaty on the protection of broadcasting organizations, based on the mandate of the 2007 WIPO General Assembly to provide protection on the signal based approach for cablecasting and broadcasting organizations in the traditional sense.

Mr. Chair,
For our Group, exceptions and limitations are of critical importance. Application of copyright system should be balanced, it should take into account commercial interests in copyright and right holders, and equally important, it should also take into account other competing interests in copyright, including the public interest in scientific, cultural, social progress and promoting competition.
Exceptions and limitations have an important role to play in the attainment of the right to education and the access to knowledge, actualization of which in many developing countries is hampered due to lack of access to relevant educational and research material.
However, there is no denying the fact that some divergence on how exceptions and limitations should be approached exists among member states.
It is unfortunate that absence of adequate will to discuss and develop the two exceptions and limitations before this committee has resulted in a stalemate on the work of this committee.
We hope that all member states shall engage constructively in this session on these two issues based on previous discussions and new inputs so that we are able to develop a mature text to discuss and work on

Mr. Chair,
Asia and the Pacific Group has taken note of the proposal submitted by the GRULAC in the 31st session to discuss the current digital environment and copyright interface. Members of my group will make interventions in their national capacity under this agenda item and will proactively participate in the discussion on this contemporary topic.

Mr. Chair,
This is the same committee which has given us the Beijing and the Marrakesh Treaties. My group is optimistic that with the noble intentions and the right will we can pave the path for the development of appropriate international instruments on all three issues.
We look forward to productive results and tangible progress in this session
I thank you once again Mr. Chair for the opportunity.

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