New York (February 12, 2021): The Authors Guild, the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit advocacy organization for professional writers and journalists, secured observer status for the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Observer status at WIPO is granted by the Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO based on requests presented by the Secretariat. In securing this status, the Authors Guild joins the International Authors Forum and other writer and creator groups, such as International Writers Guild, International Federation of Journalists and International Literary and Artistic Association, in creating a voice for authors at WIPO, where authors’ interests are often drowned out by corporate and library interests as represented by the Business Software Alliance, Computers and Communications Industry Association, Creative Commons Corporation, Electronic Information for Libraries, Intellectual Property Owners Association, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, International Intellectual Property Commercialization Council and others.

“Winning observer status gives the Authors Guild a chance to participate in high-profile discussions on copyright and international intellectual property policy,” said Mary Rasenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild. “We will use this opportunity to bolster our advocacy for protections for authors in the U.S. and around the world. We take the role of observer seriously and are honored that the Secretariat recognized the importance of the Authors Guild to the international writing community.”

SCCR was set up in the 1998–1999 biennium to examine matters of substantive law or harmonization in the field of copyright and related rights. It formulates recommendations for consideration by the WIPO General Assembly or a Diplomatic Conference.

The Committee is composed of all member states of WIPO and/or of the Berne Union, and, as observers, certain member states of the United Nations that are nonmembers of WIPO and/or the Berne Union, as well as some intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations.