Petition Asks Obama To Support Treaty For The Blind, Rather Than Siding With Hollywood
from the where-do-you-stand dept
During the course of President Obama’s administration, he has gone back and forth over support for the WIPO treaty for the blind, which would make it easier for vision impaired people to get copies of books that they can read (allowing legally made copies to be shared across borders). It’s a pretty simple proposition, and while the White House had announced support for the agreement back in 2009, the people who were responsible for that position were later replaced by content industry folks, who suddenly changed the administration’s position on the treaty. Since then, the administration has been responsible for blocking the treaty from getting done. And, of course, we’ve seen the MPAA celebrate this lack of a treaty, because it sees any attempt to negotiate a treaty that includes “exceptions” to copyright (i.e., rights of the public) expanded as a problem.
With the next round of negotiations set to take place soon in Morocco, a “We the People” petition has been set up to ask President Obama to side with the blind, rather than the MPAA.
Less than 1% of printed works globally are accessible to the blind. This is because laws around the world bar printed material from being turned into formats useable by the blind and visually impaired, or for such material to be shared across borders.
That’s why 186 countries will soon convene in Morocco to finalize a Treaty that would empower the world’s nearly 300 million blind citizens with the same rights to read, learn, and earn that the sighted enjoy. However, huge and powerful corporations – many wholly unaffected by the proposed Treaty – are working to fatally weaken it or block its adoption.
Ask the President to compel US negotiators to fight for a strong Treaty that gives blind people equal access to books and doesn’t burden those who want to provide them. Please sign today!
It may be difficult to get to 100,000 signatures, but We The People petitions have previously been successful in getting the administration to come out against SOPA and against the Library of Congress’ decision to say that unlocking mobile phones is a form of copyright infringement.