Highlights from two global copyright days
EIFL campaign to mark UNESCO World Book & Copyright Day and WIPO World Intellectual Property Day 2016

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The EIFL Draft Law on Copyright is a practical guide to assist librarians, their legal advisors and policy-makers when national laws are being updated. It is one of many resources produced by EIFL to help librarians deal with questions of copyright.

Teresa Hackett, EIFL Copyright and Libraries Programme manager, blogs about activities on UNESCO World Book & Copyright Day and WIPO World Intellectual Property Day 2016, and shares highlights from an EIFL social media campaign.

In the digital environment, librarians deal with questions of copyright every day. But restrictive copyright laws can hinder the library’s efforts to provide access to knowledge. Two global copyright days - UNESCO’s World Book & Copyright Day that took place on 23 April, and WIPO’s World Intellectual Property Day on 26 April - presented a great opportunity to highlight the work that librarians in the EIFL network do to overcome copyright restrictions and serve library users.

We marked the two days with a social media campaign, which also featured EIFL’s wide range of multi-language resources on copyright, and showed how librarians in EIFL partner countries are using the resources to advance their work.


During the week, we learnt the good news that Moldova is in the process of ratifying the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities.

At a seminar organized by the State Agency on Intellectual Property of the Republic of Moldova (AGEPI), part of a series of events for World IP Day, Mariana Harjevschi, EIFL Copyright Coordinator, gave a strong presentation outlining the role of libraries in implementing the Marrakesh Treaty.

Together with Electronic Resources for Moldova (REM), we will follow the process, and offer support to assist the ratification process when it may be needed.


In Poland, a very special event took place on 23rd April 2016 to coincide with European Literature Night, when professional actors were joined by members of the Polish Association of the Blind (PZN) in public readings of works by Shakespeare. During the event that took place in Wroclaw - 2016 European Capital of Culture and World Book Capital - PZN also presented the Marrakesh Treaty, and the importance of ratification by Poland and other EU member states.

To follow up, Barbara Szczepanska, EIFL’s Copyright Coordinator in Poland, paid a visit to PZN in Warsaw to discuss how we can work together to support ratification of the treaty.


Librarians in EIFL partner countries are actively engaged in advocating for speedy ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty. Here’s how EIFL’s resources, which include a guide to the Marrakesh Treaty for libraries, published in English, French, Russian and Serbian, are being used to support advocacy in Sénégal and Lesotho.

In Sénégal, Awa Diouf Cissé plays a key role in supporting ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty. “I have relied on EIFL resources many times for presentations at high level events, such as the 2015 African Ministerial Conference in Dakar, or the 6th Africa Forum for blindness activists and leaders in Kampala,” said Awa. “For policy work on copyright and libraries, there are simply no substitutes for EIFL resources.” Read more in our Facebook post.

In Lesotho, Matseliso (Tseli) Moshoeshoe-Chadzingwa teaches Information Ethics at the National University of Lesotho. “Since the information is current, concise and comes from a trusted source, it’s also very useful when preparing high level presentations. I introduced the EIFL Marrakesh Guide to the Working Committee on the Marrakesh Treaty, of which I am a member. I hope that Lesotho can ratify the treaty in the near future.” Read more in our Facebook post.


Here’s a round-up of popular posts in the EIFL social media campaign. The diversity of activities, the commitment and the willingness of librarians in our partner countries to engage in policy-making shines through in the posts.

A big thanks goes out to all the librarians in the EIFL network!

  • During a seminar on books, reading and copyright at the Lithuanian parliament for UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day, Emilija Banionyte President of LMBA and EIFL Copyright Coordinator, received the prestigious award, ‘Bring Your Light and Shine’, from the Ministry of Culture for her dedication to improving access to knowledge in Lithuania. What a delightful surprise! Read more in our Facebook post.
  • When Hasmik Galystan, EIFL Copyright Coordinator in Armenia translated the EIFL Handbook on Copyright into Armenian, it was the first time librarians in Armenia could learn about copyright in their own language. Read more in our Facebook post.
  • Ani Shahinyan, a PhD student researching copyright at Yerevan State University of Languages and Social sciences, has used EIFL copyright resources to teach copyright fundamentals and information literary skills.. Read more in our Facebook post.
  • Miodrag Dadasovic, EIFL Copyright Coordinator in Macedonia, adapted EIFL materials to present a paper in Macedonian on new developments in copyright for the annual assembly of libraries in Macedonia, later published in a journal. “It was pioneering work that generated new interest and discussion in copyright and libraries in Macedonia,” said Miodrag. Read more in our Facebook post.
  • In 2014-2015, the Lithuanian Research Library Consortium (LMBA) trained over 900 researchers, doctoral students and librarians on the use of electronic resources, part of a European-funded project to open online research databases in Lithuania. Three of the training modules (lmba.lt/apie-lmba/projektai/emodblt2/mokymo-moduliai) were developed using EIFL copyright resources. Read more in our Facebook post.


  • On World IP Day, IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, published an infographic illustrating how libraries have been associated with creativity for almost as long as books themselves.
  • Three European groups - Centrum Cyfrowe, Communia, and Kennisland - launched #ReadAnneDiary, a campaign highlighting how unharmonized copyright laws around Europe can lead to absurd situations. To find out why, go here.
  • In Nepal, the first national essay competition on IP and development was announced. The competition was made possible thanks to a Flash Grant from the Shuttleworth Foundation. To find out more about who can enter and the prizes, see the competition brochure.


UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day takes place each year on 23 April and aims to promote the diversity of books and reading around the globe. The city of Wroclaw in Poland is 2016 World Book Capital.

WIPO World Intellectual Property Day on 26 April is a day dedicated to the promotion, understanding and discussion of intellectual property (copyright law is part of the IP system).

The EIFL Copyright and Libraries Programme promotes a fair copyright system that supports libraries and the people who use libraries.

See the resources EIFL has produced to support learning about copyright and advocacy for a fair copyright system.