Blind Law School Dean Explains Why We Need The WIPO Copyright Treaty For The Blind

from the must-watch dept

As the MPAA and other copyright maximalist organizations continue to try to block the WIPO copyright treaty for the blind, which will make it easier for blind people around the globe to be able to access creative works, I was touched by this incredible video from Ron McCallum, the former dean at the University of Sydney Law School, where he is now an Emeritus Professor. McCallum has been blind since birth, and in the video he talks about how technology changed his life and allowed him to do so much -- and how important the treaty in question is, to allow that same revolution to help others, especially in less developed countries.
It's touching and entertaining at the same time, and should make you wonder why the MPAA wants so badly to reject this treaty. Obviously, the MPAA doesn't hate blind people, but they're so ridiculously scared of any expansion of the rights of the public (things like fair use) that they'll block any and all moves in that direction, even if the collateral damage means that other Ron McCallums around the globe won't be able to have the wonderful experiences that he did.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 3:12pm

    What's with all the false claims that a treaty is being blocked by your favorite anti-innovators/culture-haters?

    See: https://nfb.org/joint-statement-national-federation-blind-president-marc-maurer-and-mpaa-chairman-se nator-chris-dodd

     

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  2.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 3:25pm

    Re:

    http://keionline.org/node/1704

    Because for the past while, the MPAA has been doing everything it can to stop said treaty?

    Your link was put up last Thursday. Meaning that's the earliest that Dodd could have reversed his position and said "Ya know what, I want blinds too!" However, Mike's article here on the blind has been on the backburner for a while. I've been seeing it pop up in the Crystal Ball for what must be a couple of weeks now. Meaning that when it was written (not published for general viewing) Dodd was still anti-blind.

     

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  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 3:46pm

    Now I understand...promote terms for a treaty that are not as broad as others might advocate and you are a "blocker". Appears as if negotiation is becoming a lost art.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 4:05pm

    Re:

    Wow, that is a non-statement if ever I had seen one. Reeding id mate mi significantli stupiter.

     

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  5.  
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    Internet Zen Master (profile), Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 4:10pm

    No, I'm pretty sure they do hate blind people

    I mean, the MPAA stands for Motion Pictures Association (of) America.

    Blind people aren't exactly part of their target demographic...

     

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  6.  
    icon
    JCHP (profile), Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 4:17pm

    Re:

    They negotiate? Could have fooled me there, the way they've acted for years is "My way or the highway".

     

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  7.  
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    Beech, Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 4:18pm

    Re:

    Baloney. They have been flat out rejecting the treaty for ages because any change to copyright that isn't making it longer/stronger/tougher and generally making it harder to get your hands on a copyrighted work, then it is a clear attack on copyright and must be stopped. If you actually have some kind of a link that shows the MPAA saying something like "Letting the blind get easier access to material is a bit too much, can we make sure to add some language to make sure it isnt abused?" I would like to see it.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 4:30pm

    Re:

    You are literally complaining that laws might be too accommodating for blind people.

    Do yourself a favor. Put on a blindfold, and don't take it off for 24 hours. Get a blind person's perspective on the world. Maybe you'll develop some sympathy for them.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 6:20pm

    So there's a whole school of filthy sight pirates? No wonder our economy is fucked when you keep trampling copyrights.

    [/sarc]

     

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  10. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 6:35pm

    But Manipulator Mike's only interest is to weaken copyright.

    For at least third time cynically using this same emotional appeal "for the blind".

    "expansion of the rights of the public (things like fair use)" -- Right there Mike tacitly admits that he wants to change the deal, and in what direction. It's a rare revelation, usually he pretends to not have an opinion. But "fair use" is right now pretty well nailed down -- Mike has no problem stating when it applies to this case or that. And of course the wedging action is helpful to the type of grifters whom Mike favors -- file hosts like Mega(upload) -- which corporate entities would use any weakening of well established law to go yet further in monetizing someone else's work.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 8:28pm

    Re: But Manipulator Mike's only interest is to weaken copyright.

    "But "fair use" is right now pretty well nailed down."

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

    Ha.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 8:38pm

    Re: But Manipulator Mike's only interest is to weaken copyright.

    Butthurt are we pmsl.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 8:58pm

    Re:

    "Appears as if negotiation is becoming a lost art."

    This from a Republican whose motto is "Let's compromise. Do it my way".

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 8:59pm

    Re: But Manipulator Mike's only interest is to weaken copyright.

    "For at least third time cynically using this same emotional appeal "for the blind"."

    If he used "for the brainless", you'd be far more sympathetic, because then you'd be included.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 9:09pm

    To be clear, what is involved here is an attempt by some to restructure basic facets of copyright law by disingenuously saying "But...it's for the blind". This is no different from promoting legislation by disingenuously saying "But...it's for the children".

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Julian Perez, Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 9:51pm

    Re:

    Your position is absolutely absurd.

    The right to shift and alter works already owned is a part of the First Sale doctrine.

    Second, this is about providing an exception to existing copyright law so that works can be modified to be enjoyed by people with disabilities. The real injustice is this isn't legal to begin with.

    You are literally advocating that laws to accomodate blind people are far too much of an overreach, trampling on copyright, and that anyone assuming this position isn't doing it because they care about the blind.

    This is why you maximalists are viewed as extremists who do not have the public good in mind.

    If you believe being against the rights of the blind gets you unfairly labeled, here's a strategy: don't be against the rights of the blind!

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 10:08pm

    Re:

    No one believes that stupid propaganda.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 10:09pm

    Re: Re:

    95+ year copy protection lengths with retroactive extensions each time something is about to enter the public domain. Yep, my way or the highway.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 10:12pm

    Re:

    I don't want the government to 'negotiate' the public interest. I want them to serve the public interest entirely.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 11:08pm

    Re:

    So, what you're saying is that blind people shouldn't be able to read.

    Gotcha.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 11:15pm

    Re:

    I like this quote from your linked article, when the extraneous issues are the MPAA previous objections to any treaty for the blind.

    Now is the time to refocus on this singular objective and cull the document of extraneous issues.

     

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  22.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 11:21pm

    Re: But Manipulator Mike's only interest is to weaken copyright.

    Strange how in your constant berating of corporations grifting off of other people's work and not paying them (cyberlockers) you completely ignore the many times movie studios and music labels have done just that, having abused copyright law to do so.

     

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  23.  
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    techflaws (profile), Jun 4th, 2013 @ 1:52am

    Obviously, the MPAA doesn't hate blind people

    How is that obvious?

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Jun 4th, 2013 @ 4:00am

    Re: But Manipulator Mike's only interest is to weaken copyright.

    But "fair use" is right now pretty well nailed down -- Mike has no problem stating when it applies to this case or that.


    Fair use is nailed down because Mike talks about it? LOL!

    And "Screw the blind in case grifters benefit" is the worst reason for supporting the MPAA's position. Wow, you really have surpassed yourself, Blue. 'Scuse me while I barf.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2013 @ 4:29am

    i think it's a combination of things for the entertainment industries. apart from the things mentioned, i think one other thing is they cant bear the thought of something that they look on as being theirs being someone else's as well. they dont know how to do anything to help people who, having spent their lives helping anyone and everyone, need some help in return. i am sure that the answer from these industries will be 'hire more people to punch the dots!'

    oh, to be able to put those fuckers into the same positions as they have put others! what a wonderful feeling it would be to be able to say 'now, how do you like it?'

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2013 @ 6:48am

    Re: Re:

    Prior to launching into a diatribe it would prove useful to first become acquainted with this issue from independent sources. For example, one starting point might be 17 USC 121, the provision within federal copyright law entitled:

    "Limitations on exclusive rights: Reproduction for blind or other people with disabilities"

     

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