LCA, EFF, and COSLA filed comments regarding the treaty to facilitate access and sharing for people with reading disabilities.

The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) consists of the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries and the Association of Research Libraries.

Collectively, the ALA, ACRL and ARL represent over 139,000 libraries in the United States employing approximately 350,000 librarians and other personnel.

Benetech & Bookshare file with LOC and USPTO on WIPO treaty for reading disabilities

Today Benetech, a leading Silicon Valley technology nonprofit and operator of the Bookshare online library for people with print disabilities submitted comments to the US Copyright Office and the USPTO on the topic of access to copyrighted works for people with print disabilities. Here are the major points, the submission is attached at the end of this blog.

Flurry of upcoming meetings at international organizations in Geneva (WHO, WIPO and WTO)

The final stretch of 2009 ushers in a host of meetings at Geneva based institutions including the WIPO Advisory Committee on Enforcement, the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property, the WTO Ministerial, the WHO Expert Working Group and the Standing Committee on Copyright. To keep abreast of the hive of activity emanating from WIPO, WHO and WTO, here is a roadmap to keep track of the various meetings.

November 2, 2009
African-Arab Seminar on Copyright Limitations and Exceptions: Addressing the Needs of Affected Constituencies

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

Quite a bit of KEI's work has involved the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). To locate relevant articles, you can use the KEI web page search engine (see the "Search this site" form), or one of the various taxonomy terms for WIPO, including WIPO.

One of KEI's major projects now involves a proposal for a WIPO treaty for sharing accessible formats of copyrighted works for persons who are blind or have other reading disabilities.

Some additional documents are linked below:

Proposal for Treaty of Access to Knowledge (May 10, 2005 Draft)

The following is the text that was prepared in 2005 as a possible basis for a treaty on Access to Knowledge. The text was prepared in response to an August 2004 proposal by Argentina and Brazil for a WIPO Development Agenda, that included in its original proposal, a possible treaty on access to knowledge. The process that created this specific draft text included three elements.

How will WIPO provide a “speedy solution” to the problems faced by the reading disabled persons in accessing copyrighted works?

In May 2009, at the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) 18th session, the governments of Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay formally tabled a proposal to WIPO endorsing the World Blind Union's Treaty for Reading Disabled Persons.

Copyright Limitations & Exceptions, and User Rights

KEI's work on limitations and exceptions to the exclusive rights of copyright owners covers a wide range of issues, in many different fora. KEI has worked on reading disabilities, education, libraries, the relationship between copyright L&E and technical protection measures or DRM technologies, the scope of fair use, and rights of creative communities to reuse and re-purpose works, access to out of print or orphaned works, compulsory licensing of copyrighted works, the control of excessive pricing, and limits on the use of contracts that undermine user rights.

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:

Eighteenth Session Geneva, May 25 to 29, 2009

Final conclusions of WIPO SCCR 18

These are the final conclusions of SCCR 18.

World Intellectual Property Organization
SCCR Eighteenth Session
Geneva, May 25 to 29, 2009

prepared by the Chair

Limitations and exceptions

Group B efforts to block discussion of treaty

Group B has offered amendments to a proposed conclusion for the WIPO SCCR 18 meeting. The amendments are designed to eliminate any agreement to discuss a treaty for blind and reading disabled persons at the next meeting of the SCCR. The United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, the Holy See (the Vatican), the members of the European Union and other high income countries have joined in this statement. Later the EU offered an even blunter opposition to the treaty proposals. I have blogged about our disappointment in the Obama Administration on the Huffington Post here.

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