2009 Proposal by Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay, Relating to Limitations and Exceptions: Treaty Proposed by the World Blind Union

On May 25, 2009, Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay (BEP) submitted a formal proposal at the WIPO SCCR 18, asking that the SCCR consider a proposal for a treaty that was presented to the SCCR in 2008 by the World Blind Union. In 2010, the government of Mexico joined as a co-sponsor of the treaty proposal. Below is the text of the BEP submission at WIPO:

WIPO STANDING COMMITTEE ON COPYRIGHT AND RELATED RIGHTS
Eighteenth Session Geneva, May 25 to 29, 2009

The Annex to this document contains a proposal put forward by Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay, in relation to Item 5 of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) on limitations and exceptions of the agenda, received together with a note dated May 25, 2009.

1.    The Permanent Mission of Brazil to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the United Nations Office in Geneva and other international organizations and the Permanent Mission of Paraguay to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva present their compliments to the International Bureau and have the honor to present the attached proposal to be discussed during the upcoming eighteenth session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, under Item 5 of the Agenda ("Exceptions and limitations"), as an example of norm setting activity in the field of exceptions and limitations to copyrights, among those presented in document  SCCR/16/2:  for persons with disabilities, libraries and archives, educational activities and to foster technological innovations.

2.    The attached document consists of the Treaty proposed by the World Blind Union (WBU), which presents possible ways and means of facilitating and enhancing access to protected works for the blind, visually impaired, and other reading disabled persons.  Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay recognize the merit of dealing without delay, but with careful deliberation, with limitations and exceptions that would allow people with disabilities, such as the visually impaired, to access, publish and distribute works that are accessible to them.

3.    By undertaking such an initiative, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) would act in accordance with the efforts undertaken by the United Nations to address the need for enhancing, as foreseen in document SCCR/16/2, access to knowledge for the most vulnerable or socially prioritized sectors.  Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay also consider that the establishment of formal negotiations on limitations and exceptions would contribute to the broader aims of the Development Agenda, particularly the ones related to norm setting, as foreseen in document SCCR/16/2.

4.    The Permanent Mission of Brazil to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the United Nations Office in Geneva and other international organizations and the Permanent Mission of Paraguay to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva avail themselves of this opportunity to renew to the International Bureau the assurances of their highest consideration.

Geneva, May 25, 2009