Terms of Reference


Copyright and other Legal Matters (CLM) is an initiative within IFLA to represent the voice of the international library community in copyright, intellectual property and other legal concerns. CLM provides advice to the Governing Board and Secretary General on these issues in relation to IFLA’s strategic direction, and works in consultation with other relevant IFLA professional programmes and sections.

Due to the often highly specific and technical nature of its work, CLM benefits from timely communications to and from IFLA’s members and partners in the regions. IFLA, on behalf of the CLM Advisory Committee, may form agreements as required with regional bodies and individuals to co-operate on activities. Such bodies, which could include organisations working in this area, would assist IFLA by providing centrepoints of expertise for various regions. To further assist its work CLM may establish networks of individuals with specific expertise or experience, including from past members of CLM or other relevant committees, and participants in IFLA’s programmes.

The Committee complements the work of the Governing Board and IFLA Staff. It does not remove or replace any of the responsibilities of the Governing Board or the Secretary General and staff.


The responsibilities of the CLM Advisory Committee are to:

  • advise the IFLA Governing Board on:
    • Copyright and intellectual property
    • Economic and trade barriers to the acquisition of library and information materials
    • Internet Governance
    • Data protection, privacy and surveillance
    • Subscription and license agreements
    • Other legal matters of international significance to library and information services
  • monitor the state of CLM matters affecting the library and information community worldwide;
  • promote awareness of and activities related to copyright and other legal matters affecting the library and information community worldwide;
  • support IFLA policy development on matters within the Committee’s areas of expertise, directly or indirectly related to library and information services,
  • collaborate with IFLA’s advisory committees and professional units where specific expertise may be provided by CLM or drawn from IFLA’s committees and their networks;
  • cooperate with other international and regional organisations to advance IFLA’s positions and policies relating to CLM.

The Committee will report to the Governing Board. The Chair may be invited to participate in Governing Board strategic planning processes, as appropriate.


The CLM Advisory Committee consists of up to 13 members:

  • 10 appointed members, including the Chair
  • One Governing Board member
  • The Chair of the FAIFE Committee (ex-officio)
  • The Deputy Secretary General, (non-voting) who will represent the Secretary General as an ex-officio member.

The Manager, Policy and Advocacy will provide secretariat support to CLM.

Rules of Procedure

Members, including the Chair, will be appointed by the Governing Board, in line with the following nomination procedures:


The Chair of each committee is appointed by the Governing Board. National Association Members which are not in arrears are eligible to nominate for these positions. Nominations, in response to a call for nominations issued by the Secretary General, have to be submitted by the announced deadline and accompanied by an indication of the nominee's experience and expertise in the subject area of the committee concerned, together with an indication of the support the nominee is likely to attract from their institution and/or association. Nominees should have consented to their nomination.


National Association members and Institutional members may nominate for places on each committee. Nominations, in response to a call for nominations issued by the Secretary General, must be submitted by the announced deadline on the nomination form issued with the call.

Only one nomination will normally be accepted from each National Association or Institutional Member.

The Governing Board reserves the right to appoint the Chair and up to three Committee members directly, in line with their expertise.

Terms of Office

The Chair and Committee members will be appointed for two years to coincide with the term of the Governing Board. In making its appointments the Board will aim for some continuity in knowledge and experience in the membership from term to term.

Members may not serve more than two consecutive terms.

When making appointments, the Board shall ensure continuity in knowledge and experience in the membership from term to term.


The Committee shall meet face to face at least once a year, and electronically as required.

Mailing lists will be made available for the Advisory Committee, for working groups as required, and for a broader CLM list comprising all experts or bodies invited to work with the Committee.


The role, purpose and composition of the Committee shall be subject to the review requirements of the Governing Board.

These Rules of Procedure were adopted by the Governing Board on 15 April 2015.

CLM (Committee on Copyright and other Legal Matters)

Last update: 5 November 2018