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.

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Companies: mpaa

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Comments on “Petition Asks Obama To Support Treaty For The Blind, Rather Than Siding With Hollywood”

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21 Comments
Franklin G Ryzzo (profile) says:

It really is a sad state of affairs that this is even an issue requiring a petition. Hopefully the goal will be reached, but I don’t think this is mainstream enough to get promoted where people will see it like happened with SOPA and the Library of Congress. Although, with 300 million blind people out there, only a very small percentage would need to be made aware to get the signatures…

Signed

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re: Re: Support laborers, not the thieving Rich!

Blue 2 is an idiot, plain and simple. Blinded by his maximalist ideological position, he reckons that to question copyright laws or to advocate for their reform threatens all copyright everywhere.

As usual, “the thieving rich” are exempted from criticism for locking cultural artifacts away from the public domain, restricting it to those who have no visual impairment, or denying artists fair compensation for their work via work-for-hire clauses in their contracts because copyright is awesome or something.

For the umpteenth time, Blue 2, copyright rent collection does not guarantee artists an income because “the thieving rich” usually own it!

BTW I’m not on the “thieving rich” bandwagon. I’m just bashing Blue 2’s stance here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Yet your efforts here bring such small results that I wonder why you bother.

The exact same could be said of you ootb. You come in here with what appears to be a love/hate relation with Mike. You have consistently shown you don’t read the articles before commenting, rarely read the comments to respond, rarely comment on topic, have no earthly idea what you rave of and can not support anything you say with reasonable references.

You sir, could be defined by a quote spoken of in reflection of George Bush. I give you that quote here…

?[George W. Bush] is lucky to be governor of Texas. He is unusually incurious, abnormally unintelligent, amazingly inarticulate, fantastically uncultured, extraordinarily uneducated, and apparently quite proud of all these things.? ~ Christopher Hitchens

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Against

Well right now they are missing out on rights you currently enjoy, namely the right to participate in large chunks of culture, due to so much of it being unreadable, and therefor unaccessable, to them.

So the introduction of laws/exceptions like this isn’t giving them any ‘extra’ rights, it’s just evening the playing field with those that can see fine and don’t need those ‘extra’ exceptions to the law.

Anonymous Coward says:

You know the governments petition page is so retarded. Instead of having everyone’s petition listed on a single page where for me to scroll through them would require me to keep on holding the end page button for a very long time while a small number of signatures loads per keyboard input and it takes forever to load everything to search through it, why not just alphabetize and leave a link for each letter of the alphabet?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You expect the government to make it easy for their citizens to make them at least pretend to look at petitions that get enough votes? That is not the idea behind the site, it is only intended to create the illusion that citizens can gain the attention of their rulers, oops, I mean representatives.

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