To mark World Intellectual Property Day 2020 [26 April], EIFL worked with leading cultural heritage organizations in drafting an open letter calling on the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to take urgent action to help save our cultural heritage.
The world’s cultural heritage is at risk from the devastating effects of climate change. Globally, libraries, archives, museums, sites and other cultural heritage institutions are suffering the grave consequences of fires, floods and other disasters related to climate change.
Digitization and storage in the cloud are among the most effective ways to safeguard our heritage. However, digitization requires the making of copies, and too many national copyright laws fail to allow digital preservation for copyright-protected material (over a quarter of WIPO member states do not permit preservation at all, even for print formats).
The letter calls on WIPO and its Member States to respond to the need for international copyright laws that will empower cultural institutions to prevent further loss of worldwide cultural heritage due to rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and other disasters linked to global warming.
The theme of World IP Day 2020 was ‘Innovate for a Green Future’. The letter was open for signature by all heritage organizations around the world and other organizations that share the goals.