Access to Knowledge
These are the draft conclusions distributed by the chair regarding item 5 of the agenda (i.e. limitations and exceptions). The paper was distributed before the lunch break (1-3pm). The delegates are consulting on it and will come back at 3pm. The final text will be modified of course but this is a good start.
SCCR 18 DRAFT CONCLUSIONS OF THE SSCR prepared by the chair
Limitations and exceptions
Congratulations on your record setting re-election as chairman of the SCCR, and for your excellent guidance this week.
With regard to the draft questionnaire, KEI suggests it be expanded to address exceptions found in Article 44 of the TRIPS, regarding alternatives to injunctions.
KEI supports the proposal by Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay for a treaty for reading disabled persons, which is correctly inclusive in terms of disabilities covered.
Several people are reporting from the WIPO SCCR 18 meeting on Twitter. Some but not all use a hash tag #sccr18, for those familiar with the twitter search system. Below are the 60 tweets I posted so far.
On Monday, 25 May 2009, the governments of Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay submitted a proposal to the to the 18th Session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) entitled, “Proposal by Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay, relating to Limitations and Exceptions: Treaty proposed by the World Blind Union (WBU)”.
On 13-14 May 2009, representatives from 10 Latin American and Caribbean governments, representatives from blind organizations and nongovernmental organizations met in Montevideo (Uruguay) to analyze the World Blind Union (WBU) proposal for a WIPO treaty for the blind, visually impaired and other reading disabled persons.
Update #2, 15 May: Yesterday, Random House began to disable TTS on books in the Kindle store, which is our primary concern. However, it appears that early reports from the Amazon message boards of remote disabling may have been inaccurate; there have been no confirmed reports of TTS being remotely disabled, and we apologize for any confusion. However, the technology to remotely disable these works does exist, and this remains a significant concern.
Two major points to bear in mind as this story progresses:
Today I filed my comments to the United States Copyright Office and the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Accessible Works and Standards, a topic related to the provision of access to copyrighted works for blind or other persons with disabilities.
In preparation for the 3rd meeting of the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP), WIPO published a 31 page document (CDIP/3/2) on March 18, 2009 listing a roster of consultants for technical assistance the Organization employed from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2008. This is a welcome step in providing greater transparency into WIPO’s technical assistance activities.
The Authors Guild is claiming text to speech functions in software programs and e-book readers violate their copyrights, and should be turned off unless they are paid more for the extra functionality. Obviously the geniuses among the Authors Guild are on to something. There are many similar areas of functionality to be exploited by the Authors Guild. Here are some thoughts on how the Guild might squeeze more money from readers, if they want to expand upon their new anti-consumer business strategy:
The groups below represent 15 million Americans who cannot read print because of blindness, dyslexia, spinal cord injury and other print disabilities. Reading disabled persons affected by the Authors’ Guild request to remove the text to speech function on Kindle 2 include school children, the elderly, professionals, university students, returning veterans, and yes, your neighbors, family members and friends.