EU & US Negotiators Looking To Hold Blind & Deaf Access Rights Hostage To Get A New ACTA/SOPA

from the sad dept

We already talked about how US officials have been working against a treaty to allow more access to copyrighted works for the disabled, but the latest report from Jamie Love highlights an even more nefarious part of the strategy. To hold the agreement hostage in order to backdoor in certain elements of ACTA/SOPA. This is mainly being led by the EU, but with support from the US. And the main part is putting lots of red tape around any exceptions — and tying it to more standardized enforcement, which is what ACTA was really all about:

The European Union primarily, but with some backing from the US government, is holding blind people’s access hostage in and effort to introduce new global enforcement norms for copyright. If you look at most copyright exceptions in most countries, the system works as follows. If the exception applies, an activity is not considered infringement. If you do something that is not protected by the exception, you are infringing, and all sorts of bad things can happen, depending upon your national laws for infringement, which include both criminal and civil sanctions. That is how the US exceptions work for blind persons, and that’s how nearly all national exceptions work for blind persons. But here at WIPO, the EU wants page after page of detailed regulation of anyone who uses an exception. The expanding verbiage of the agreement is almost entirely about introducing ACTA and SOPA like enforcement provisions into this agreement.

We’ve already seen the EU try to backdoor ACTA provisions in elsewhere, so it should come as little surprise that it would also seek to abuse a treaty to help the disabled to get to the same point as well. Shameful, but not surprising.

Another report on the meetings, from David Hammerstein at the TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) goes into more detail on the EU’s moves during the negotiations:

Instead of trying to help one of the world?s most culturally disadvantaged groups the EU?s copyright specialists guided by Commissioner of Internal Market Michel Barnier are busy launching violent preemptive strikes against the possibility of a clear, exception to copyright for the non-profit production and distribution of works formatted for visually impaired persons.

In Geneva this week the EU made one negative proposal after another to block a global agreement that would greatly improve access to culture for the visually impaired. All of them have been rejected by the organizations defending blind and disabled persons rights. Most of them are “copy and paste” proposals from the publishing industry?s wish list. Not one EU proposal this week in Geneva was to facilitate the right to read of disabled persons as guaranteed by international law. Not one member of the EU?s delegation was a human rights or disability expert; all were hard-line copyright apologists.

Basically, they seem to see this as a war, where any exception is seen as “giving in” on copyright. This is insane. This is not about rational minds looking for the proper calibration of the law, or understanding the real impacts of the law. This appears to be about pure copyright religion, where “more” must be better, and any exception, no matter how reasonable, is seen as a sin. Shameful.

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Comments on “EU & US Negotiators Looking To Hold Blind & Deaf Access Rights Hostage To Get A New ACTA/SOPA”

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Yogi says:


Is there no way to hold these bullies accountable?

If this is how powerful, profanely rich people and organizations in the West behave when the slightest of their interests is very remotely threatened for the benefit of the disabled(!!), what the hell can we expect from disenfranchised peoples in other, less fortunate parts of the world?

This is beyond shameful, it is callous corruption taken to the extreme.

lolzzzzz says:

even worse

in the thread on torrent freak where its shown PRQ host of the pirate bay is said to be hosting a child molestation advocacy website that the founders defended as free speech , mpaa shills go on about theft of there precious and money vs the issue of harm to kids.

both sides there showing they dont give a shit about no one but themselves.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: even worse

“child molestation advocacy website”?

I doubt that’s a correct characterization of the web page in question. At one point they hosted and registered the domain name (or maybe it was only the latter) for a pedophile who published a text document where he explained himself and his views (without in any way inciting crime). It made it into all the big newspapers in the country although I don’t think the connection to any TPB guy was made at that point.

Considering how many who cannot seem to distinguish between child molestation (horrible crimes) and pedophilia (sick thoughts) I didn’t find it as contriversial as I had expected, although when his confusion between personal desires and what’s objectively true sometimes shined through it was sickening to read.

In any case it didn’t seem to be anywhere near crossing legal boundaries.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You are correct, but that was nothing but a last minute manoeuvre to try to push the bill through. DNS blocking, if I recall correctly, was pulled just before the Internet-wide blackouts (as in, it was pulled after it became clear that the bill was doomed, in a ham-fisted attempt to try to make the Internet communities look foolish).

Keroberos (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Doesn’t look like anything specific, just wording that’s open to interpretation, and when applied a specific way could against what the treaty is supposed to be about.

For example:

[A Member State/Contracting Party may confine limitations or exceptions under this Article to published works which, in the particular accessible format, cannot be obtained commercially under reasonable terms, including at prices that take account of the needs and incomes of beneficiary persons in that market.]

Who gets to define those “reasonable terms”? Some government agency, or the publisher (and is there a difference between the two)?

[Provided that prior to the making available or distribution the originating authorized entity did not know or have reasonable grounds to know that the accessible format copy would be used for other than beneficiary persons.]

How can anyone know this? The wording is very weaselly, you can claim that anyone that distributes any work electronically has “reasonable grounds to know that the accessible format copy would be used for other than beneficiary persons”, this is the nature of the internet–if it’s digital, it’s being pirated somewhere.

[Contracting Parties/Member States, in their national [law/legislation], shall/should provide [additional/any] limitations or exceptions [in conformity with/as per Article Bbis of] this treaty/instrument [only] in certain special cases which do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holder.]

Again, who gets to define this?

Haven’t had a chance to dig too deep into this, but on the surface it looks like their trying to add things which would discourage people from providing accessible works out of fear of falling afoul of some obscure provision (or shutting them down using those provisions)–which is what they tried to do with SOPAACTA.

Josef Anvil (profile) says:

Re: Not really and off on a tangent

“I fear there is no way back, this will get worse, extensions to copyright making it impossible to do anything or require a lawyer to do so.”

You simply don’t understand how society works. If it worked the way you are thinking then piracy would have been stomped out by now. In fact, it’s quite the opposite to the way you think. We share MORE now and will keep sharing more regardless of what the lawyers and AA’s think.

While I’m here, let’s finally bury the digital dimes thing. If people buy stuff, they expect to own it. That increases VALUE. If people buy stuff and they don’t own it, they will be ok with that if it costs A LOT less.

Example. If I purchase a book, I don’t mind paying $7 for the paperback which I can keep, resell, or burn. If I buy an ebook from Amazon that can be taken from me at any time and I don’t really own, then that is only worth $.10 to me. Guess what Amazon, you can keep selling me that ebook for years at that price. $.10 for 30 day access anyone?

Ummmm can I patent that business model?

Anonymous Coward says:

what absolute disgraceful discrimination! those condoning this action need to be severely punished. i cannot believe that any government, let alone those in democratic nations sit back and allow this shit to happen! what the hell is wrong with these people? surely no one would want to be associated with this, regardless of how much they were paid!

out_of_the_blue says:

Mike too is holding "Blind & Deaf Access Rights" as cloak

for his own nefarious purpose of destroying all copyright. It’s just a shameless emotional ploy: Think of the Blind & Deaf! To hell with rest of society, sacrifice copyright and the industries around it to the few afflicted! — You people really need to read “Atlas Shrugged” more closely, as Rand was against such emotional ploys. Those who produce (even if it’s mere entertainment) can’t be held hostage to the “needs” of the few, no matter their plight. That path leads quickly to endless “entitled” demands.

IN ANY EVENT, those are quite minor concerns that could be patched up later… After you ‘splain how copyrights could yet be protected with this giant hole made in it that’d be exploited by the NON-blind and NON-deaf.

silverscarcat says:

Re: Mike too is holding "Blind & Deaf Access Rights" as cloak

You know what?


If copyright is going to screw over people as a whole, then screw it and burn it to the ground!

If we can’t scale copyright back to a reasonable level, then we have to eliminate it completely.

“Those who produce (even if it’s mere entertainment) can’t be held hostage to the “needs” of the few, no matter their plight. That path leads quickly to endless “entitled” demands.”

needs of the public > desires of creators.

The “few” that you comment on, and you make me SICK, good sir, are more than ALL of the entertainment industries PUT TOGETHER.

“those are quite minor concerns that could be patched up later…”

They are neither minor, NOR should they be patched up later.

Fix them NOW or get NOTHING.

it’s that simple.

If you’re going to screw over a large portion of the world, you better have a DAMN good reason for doing so.

Copyright is NOT a good reason.

Niall (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Mike too is holding "Blind & Deaf Access Rights" as cloak

If you mean ‘universally embraced’ to mean ‘held up as an example of massive narcissism, egotism and selfishness’ then sure. If you want to make a case for it being held in any actual regard, feel free to make it – you have 25 words.

Other than that, what relevance does being a Rand fanboi have to this conversation? Did your comment add in any way? However, feel free not to contribute any more if you don’t like us disagreeing with you.

Keroberos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Mike too is holding "Blind & Deaf Access Rights" as cloak

Yeah. I place disciples of Ayn Rand somewhere below the others that also take works of fiction way too seriously (at least they’re just harmless kooks). Ayn Rand’s disciples think they know something about economics and can be dangerous to the rest of society and should separated from it.

Robert Reed Daly (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Mike too is holding "Blind & Deaf Access Rights" as cloak

It was not I who turned a part of this thread into a argument over Ayn Rand. It’s true that her critics here were not the first to bring her up,but your comments went beyond simply disagreeing with her to portaying her as some kind of fiend.
Given that & given that I am a adherent of her philosophy, I felt compelled to respond. Had you simply said ” I don’t agree with her philosophy” I wouldn’t have felt the need to reply.
If I had attacked your philosophy & its adherents would you remain silent if you believed that I was being unjust to your beliefs? My comment regarding “death camps” was a sarcastic reply to the suggestion that Objectivists should be removed from society. I presume that your comment to that effect was as sarcastic as mine.

Rand made her own case quite ably in her hundreds of non-fiction essays.
I cannot (seriously) summarize any philosophy in 25 words ,and I’m not sure if anyone could.
There are simply too many questions that would come up.

My briefest summary of the ideas that I find appealing in Objectivism would be:

Use reason. Use force only in self-defense against those who violate your rights (or who violate someone else’s rights) . Deal with innocent people only through mutual consent & not by force or fraud. Deal with other people honestly as rational human beings,unless they behave irrationally. (And let them go their own way if they are irrational) Do not sacrifice your own rational self-interest for them and do not expect them to sacrifice themselves to you.
People should not deal with one another as predators or prey,,but as traders.
Take responsibility for your actions (including the children you bring into the world). Help others if you wish out of benevolence,if they are not evil,& if it gives you some emotional satisfaction & if you don’t take it to a suicidal extreme. But reject forced sacrifice.
Do not betray your convictions,do not settle for mediocrity.
With these qualifiers ,your own life & your happiness & your dreams should be your standard of value & should be the goal of your actions.
This is selfishness,but it is not narcissism. ( A narcissist would expect others to serve him ,& he would probably also be open to deceiving people). Will this miraculously solve all the problems of the world? No,nothing will. But I do believe that it is the correct philosophy to adopt. But that is a decision people must make for themselves.
And given the control freaks on both the right & left I do not see why she should be singled out as being the “worst” or most destructive person in American history.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Mike too is holding "Blind & Deaf Access Rights" as cloak

but your comments went beyond simply disagreeing with her to portaying her as some kind of fiend.

It’s not that she’s a fiend, but her followers have an unusually high percentage of fiends and scoundrels amongst them. So high, in fact, that I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be particularly wary of them in general.

This pretty much follows from several of the underpinnings to her philosophy, two of which you yourself mentioned: selfishness is good, and compromise is bad.

Keroberos (profile) says:

Re: Mike too is holding "Blind & Deaf Access Rights" as cloak

How amusing. You do know that argument can go both ways, right?

Those who consume culture (even if it’s mere entertainment) can’t be held hostage to the “needs” of the few (content producers), no matter their plight. That path leads quickly to endless “entitled” demands.

And I just love when people can’t see how self contradicting Ayn Rand’s Objectivism is, “Don’t regulate business–except when those regulations (copyright and patents) are beneficial to business”. Which of course goes against the stated purpose of copyrights and patents; to promote progress–not to promote the profits of businesses.

In regards to your final point. Talk about an “emotional ploy”–“Just think about all those filthy pirates who’ll use this loophole to steal content”. Hmm…do you really think the pirates are waiting around for this treaty to pass so they can pirate stuff?. If you do, you’re not as bright as you think you are. That ship sailed off long ago–and has circumnavigated the earth multiple times (if it can be pirated–and someone wants it–it probably already has been pirated).

So…in all, a pretty piss poor effort–0 internets for you.

Robert Reed Daly (profile) says:

Re: Re: Mike too is holding "Blind & Deaf Access Rights" as cloak

I myself have other things that I must attend to & it was not my intent to turn this thread into a epic discussion of Ayn Rand. (Particularly
since she was not the subject of the article). So unless you say something that I feel necessitates a further rebuttal I’ll let this be my final comment ( & it is related to the post).

You wrote:

?Those who consume culture (even if it’s mere entertainment) can’t be held hostage to the “needs” of the few (content producers), no matter their plight. That path leads quickly to endless “entitled” demands.”…

?And I just love when people can’t see how self contradicting Ayn Rand’s Objectivism is, “Don’t regulate business –except when those regulations (copyright and patents) are beneficial to business”. Which of course goes against the stated purpose of copyrights and patents; to promote progress –not to promote the profits of businesses.?

This is simply not a accurate presentation of Rand’s views.
She did not believe that we should “not regulate businesses except when those regulations are beneficial to businesses.”
She believed that the state should protect individual rights & should not violate them. She was a minarchist , not a anarchist. That does mean that the state should protect individual rights,including property rights,but she expressly rejected the idea that the government should be “pro-business” or “pro-worker” . She believed that it should simply protect the individual rights of all people businessmen,workers,producers,consumers,the blind,the sighted,the deaf,the hearing etc. For example if a company tried to steal the patent of a impoverished person,she would support the impoverished inventor’s rights over the corporation.
This is no more a contradiction than it would be a “contradiction” to argue that your landlord cannot violate your lease & evict you without cause,while simultaneously arguing that the tenant also cannot violate the terms of his lease with impunity.
Obviously some would argue that protecting intellectual property rights “benefits the strong at the expense of the weak” ,& some believe that the deaf or blind have a “positive right” to be provided with books,but that was not how she thought,& your statement may convey the impression that she believed that the state should be “pro-business”,when she believed that it should side with businessmen when they are the victims of injustice but which also means opposing them when they violate individual rights. As to IP she rejected the rationale offered by the Constitution that Copyright existed to to promote progress & the arts & sciences. She instead believed that creators had a right to their IP because it was the product of their labor. That said,it does not follow that she regarded IP rights as being identical in form to conventional property rights. From what I understand she believed in Fair Use,& I think she would also support a person’s right to make private copies of the books that they had purchased. So she might believe that the deaf or blind person could buy a book & then have it adapted so that they could personally use it . I don’t think that she would oppose you copying the text of a book that you purchased & magnifying it,or scanning it into your computer & then having it read aloud by a computer etc. But I think that she would oppose any argument that, because the blind/deaf needed books,that some publisher could then make copies of the books en-masse for the blind or deaf without paying any kind of licensing fee to the content creator.
So yes she did believe in intellectual property rights,but she did not automatically accept any position of the MPAA . I find it difficult to imagine that she would support SOPA given its threat to the DNS & due to its due process concerns.
I emphasize this last because there is a disagreement ( to put it mildly) between Adam Mossoff ( a pro-SOPA Objectivist law professor, mentioned on this site previously)
& his allies on the one hand (who share his view that SOPA has been targeted by “vicious lies”, ) ,& myself & others who believe that SOPA is a threat to all of our rights,not because it protects IP rights,but because it violates the rights of those who have not infringed on IP rights.

Patents and Copyrights ? Ayn Rand Lexicon

Tor (profile) says:

Re: Mike too is holding "Blind & Deaf Access Rights" as cloak

Ayn Rand, although generally supportive of IP, had some wise things to say about entitlement:

“If it were held in perpetuity, it would lead to the opposite of the very principle on which it is based: it would lead, not to the earned reward of achievement, but to the unearned support of parasitism. It would become a cumulative lien on the production of unborn generations, which would ultimately paralyze them. Consider what would happen if, in producing an automobile, we had to pay royalties to the descendants of all the inventors involved, starting with the inventor of the wheel and on up. Apart from the impossibility of keeping such records, consider the accidental status of such descendants and the unreality of their unearned claims.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Mike too is holding "Blind & Deaf Access Rights" as cloak

As one of those blind people who are affected by all of this bullshit, I have one thing to say unto you: Fuck you and the asshole you rode in on. It isn’t my job to try and protect a business model, and I’m tired of being screwed out of culture by assholes like you. You and people like you are why I pirate ebooks in a format that can be useful to me on my NON-Kindle/Ipad/whatever ereader. I like being able to magnify the text to a font that is accessible to me. I like being able to listen to audio books and not have to pay 2-3 times the cover price of a hardcover to do it. Don’t want to think of people needing large print, braille or audio versions? Fine, but don’t be surprised when we just take it.

Tor (profile) says:

Human rights or copyright regulation precedent

I think you missed to highlight an interesting part of the blog post by James Love that you linked to last time:
“I asked Hungary if they were concerned about the use of the exceptions by blind persons, or the precedent a treaty would set. The immediate reply was — the precedent.”

It says it all, doesn’t it?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Human rights or copyright regulation precedent

In Europe DMCA is a wet dream of a system. Everything has to go through the rightholders and they therefore have all the power. What is holding back the number of cases is the costs and the human right treaties USA did not sign…

Any kind of exception is something the copyright-industries fear in Europe since the cost of going to court and setting precedents there is high and even if they win, they lose popularity and do not get much money.

In USA it is purely about protecting their advantages in certain industries. In Europe it is all about protecting the legal framework that exists today. If exceptions go through, USA will have some mad Hollywood studios and lose some income. EU, on the other hand, will have to fundamentally change how they legislate in the area.

Don’t get me wrong, it is very bad style, what they are doing and it is truely disgusting to see how dirty they fight. But there are reasons for the madness. Getting things through the parliament is problematic enough already. A completely rewritten framework for copyright and internet legislation will be a bloodbath.

CK20XX (profile) says:

Copyright is dead.

He?s been strangled to death by the RIAA, MPAA, and all associated industries who kept squeezing him harder and harder in an effort to make him do what they wanted. Their motives were unclear, having something to do with calling ordinary internet users ?pirates? and attempting to exterminate them en masse, but thanks to the abuse and cruelty they inflicted upon the late Mr. Copyright, he wasn?t even able to stumble out to his first real assignment. All that remains of him today is a dried, meaningless corpse. His eldest surviving relation, Trademark, has expressed shock and horror over how corporations and studios keep trying to make Copyright work by animating his body like a marionette and has been demanding that the body be returned to him and his family for proper burial.

There?s been an outpouring of sympathy from all corners of the world. One aspiring author we interviewed, a Mr. CK20XX, said, ?Copyright had always been a warm, comforting presence for nobodies like me hoping to make it big on hopes and dreams. His job was to protect us for a brief amount of years so we could learn to stand on our own feet without being pummeled by bullies. I had heard rumors of his abduction for a while, but it wasn?t until recently that I learned the full extent of the atrocities that had been inflicted on him and are still being committed in his name. There?s just no words for the injustice that has transpired.?

The news of his passing has become a rallying call in the technology sector, especially for Techdirt, Ars Technica, Slashdot, Reddit, and Demand Progress. They?ve been at the forefront of a combined effort to bring the Hollywood-style-villains-who-are-really-actually-from-Hollywood to justice.

The void left by Mr. Copyright?s passing has left up-and-coming artists and entertainers in an uncomfortable position. ?I?m not worried about torrenting,? Mr. CK20XX said. ?Sharing is a natural part of life, and the people who download movies and comics and such online mainly do so because they are there, because they are free, cool-looking treats they happen to find floating around, so each download is not a lost sale or something. But with Copyright gone? I?m honestly a little scared. Who will do his job now? This novel I?m working on is my brainchild; I feel that if I only accomplish one thing in life, it has to be this. But the people who has been defiling his corpse have created such a hostile climate that sometimes I feel tempted to believe that every download really is a lost sale. It?s not for any rational reason, it?s just because these are fearful times, and I?m fighting to keep them from overpowering me. I?ve heard that Copyright had friends named Creative Commons and Kickstarter, so I?m considering going to them now. Maybe they can point me in the right direction at least.?

Though the technology exists to return Mr. Copyright to life if his body is retrieved, the possibility seems unlikely. The people in possession of his body now have brought shame and ruin to his reputation, leading to a consensus among the public that he should just be laid to rest to preserve whatever amount of dignity he may still have left.

When authorities were asked to comment on any possible investigation involving the RIAA, MPAA, and Mr. Copyright?s death, they said, ?Mind your own business.?

out_of_the_blue says:

"anyone who uses an exception" -- Those will multiply!

Everyone, particularly Americans, believes oneself an exception to all rules. — And I’m sure that Mike and his grifter and pirate pals see these exceptions as a way to get around copyright.

But “reasonable” exceptions only work when basic morality is followed that ONLY the afflicted take advantage of exceptions.

Here’s a (pretty literally) concrete example: most of the people parking in handicap spots are not in any visible way handicapped. They hop out of nice new cars and stroll briskly to the store door. The statute that created those exceptions in parking lots was made under the silly notion that being “handicapped” wouldn’t suddenly become desirable in order to get a close parking spot. But lazy people will always cheat. Doctors were/are pressured to sign off on the certificates, and may even provide themselves with one; after all, they’re busy and important, “deserve” one. So the system clogs with fresh hordes of “handicapped”, and I’ve seen the local areas expanded.

But I’m not against the handicapped, just making the point that exceptions MUST be strigently nailed down, which is WHY they’re “putting lots of red tape around any exceptions”. — So you and your pirate pals won’t be able to claim you’re exceptions, Mike! Thieves and rule-breakers are the ones who harm all the rest, not those trying to defend legitimate incomes from their own creations.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: "anyone who uses an exception" -- Those will multiply!

What ignorance.

Mike can’t be a pirate.
Even if there was a basis for you saying that he and his pals are and it is blatantly clear that there is no basis for the claim, the very fact that they kick up stink about the ludicrous expansionism and intrusion of copyright legislation and agreements proves they aren’t pirates.
Because these things have no impact on pirates, just as DRM doesn’t impact pirates.

The only people hurt by these ludicrous IP arrangements are legitimate users, not one part of these laws, agreements or tech (like DRM) affects those who pirate stuff.
This is the part you seem to not understand at all.

Your blind support for this nonsense which you have to keep shifting ground to justify, is not just harmful to consumers though, it is also harmful to the same publishers and creators who push for them.
They and people like you who ignorantly support their ravings are more harmful to those who make or try to make a living through creativity than even the most extreme and purely imaginary damage done by “piracy”.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: "anyone who uses an exception" -- Those will multiply!

When you’re stopped your paranoid rantings, I’ll be over here buying products from non-assholes who aren’t trying to rip me off, shut down my products after I bought them or stop disabled people from using them.

“But lazy people will always cheat.”

…or post lunatic fictions on comment threads rather than understand the real point raised. Really, that’s your answer? Screw the disabled because some people will abuse the system? Once again, I don’t wish harm on anyone, but I do wish you would experience the problems you’re wishing on others to protect some imaginary dollars.

“not those trying to defend legitimate incomes from their own creations.”

I love the way you phrased that. Most of the losses are being caused by the industry’s own creations, alright…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: "anyone who uses an exception" -- Those will multiply!

I’m most curious about the red herring within the red herring. Obviously the handicap spaces screed is just a red herring from the discussion actually being had, which you contributed not a single solitary thing on. However, within that red herring there’s a red herring for even the argument over handicap spots you’re having with yourself. What does the newness of the car have to do with anything?

Recursive red herrings. Keep up the great work!

Keroberos (profile) says:

Re: "anyone who uses an exception" -- Those will multiply!

Either you didn’t read the proposed changes–or you’re just outright spreading FUD.

None of the more troubling proposed changes have anything to do about limiting access to just the disabled–or defining disability. They’re about giving some undefined, nebulous “someone” to much power over the exception process.

And it is just outright FUD claiming that “Mike and his grifter and pirate pals” are wanting this treaty just so they can pirate–anyone that wants to pirate something already is.

Are people abusing disability laws? Sure they are. How big of a percentage are? Pretty low. What percentage are doing it over something as trivial as getting a parking space? Microscopic. What percentage would abuse this treaty? Most likely microscopic, I doubt most people would consider a book or a movie reformatted for the use of the blind and deaf to be a substitute for the original (I don’t know about you, but I can’t read braille, and a movie with extra audio for the blind would be too annoying).

Plus, how did this become an argument about piracy? There’s nothing in this treaty that says anything created for the disabled has to be free–it just says it has to be made by an “authorized entity”, described here:

[Authorized entity means an entity that is authorized or recognized by the government to provide education, instructional training, adaptive reading or information access to beneficiary persons on a non-profit basis. It also includes a government institution or non-profit organization that provides the same services to beneficiary persons as one of its primary activities or institutional obligations.]

[establishes and follows] [may maintain] its own rules and procedures
i) to establish that the persons it serves are beneficiary persons;
ii) to limit to beneficiary persons and/or authorized entities its distribution and making available of accessible format copies;
iii) to discourage the reproduction, distribution and making available of unauthorized copies [including by informing authorized entities and beneficiary persons that any abuse will lead to stopping the supply of accessible format copies]; and
iv) to maintain reasonable care in, and records of, its handling of copies of works, while respecting the privacy of beneficiary persons in accordance with Article H; in the case of an authorized entity that serves a rural or small population and does not distribute accessible format copies in electronic form for whom record keeping would constitute an undue burden such record keeping may be appropriately adjusted.
[v) An authorized entity carrying out cross-border exchanges of accessible format copies establishes and follows rules and procedures which enable the provision of anonymous and aggregated data relating to such exchanges for the evaluation, when appropriate, of their volume and periodicity.] [This provision shall not apply to developing and least developed countries, nor to governmental authorized entities, libraries or educational institutions.]]

In the case of an authorized entity that engages only in activities under Article[s] [C] [C and E], [as regards physical copies] items iii to v? iv to v? shall be discretionary.

Nothing about anyone getting anything for free there, plus all kinds of things about not redistributing works obtained under this treaty.

And here’s the part defining “disability”:


A beneficiary person is a person who

(a) is blind

(b) has a visual impairment or a perceptual or reading disability which cannot be improved to give visual function substantially equivalent to that of a person who has no such impairment or disability and so is unable to read printed works to substantially the same degree as a person without an impairment or disability; or

(c) is otherwise unable, through physical disability, to hold or manipulate a book or to focus or move the eyes to the extent that would be normally acceptable for reading,

regardless of any other disabilities.

Not much grounds for abuse there. Except for fraud, which is already illegal.

Exceptions are necessary. You use them every day (without them you could get sued for defamation for just about every post you make). So, they’re only good when they benefit you, but not when they benefit someone else?

The self-contradictions some people can maintain just amaze me. Did you have to take class to be able to do that? Or were you just born that way?

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: "anyone who uses an exception" -- Those will multiply!

most of the people parking in handicap spots are not in any visible way handicapped.

Not where I live. It’s pretty rare to see an obviously not-handicapped person using these spots. And there are people who are handicapped enough to warrant their use, but whose disability is not discernible on a quick glance.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Copyright war

Basically, they seem to see this as a war, where any exception is seen as “giving in” on copyright. This is insane.

Insane or not, it’s reality. They are at war with us, and they have been since the DMCA was passed, if not earlier. It’s a war of conquest, a battle for total control over our culture and our money. And if we don’t acknowledge that and actually fight, back we’ve already lost.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Copyright war

I agree. This is a landgrab operation on our culture. A token of commerce-?ber-alles of our times. Only money-making is legitimate in our leaders eyes.

The sickening irony is that the same people having the mouth full of “freedom” when they think “freedom of trade” only. And at yet the same time promote the exact opposite with the uggliest protectionism under the guise of IP.

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