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.

Filed Under: , , , , , ,
Companies: mpaa

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Blind Law School Dean Explains Why We Need The WIPO Copyright Treaty For The Blind”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re:

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.

Beech says:

Re: 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.

out_of_the_blue says:

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.

Pragmatic says:

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.

Julian Perez (user link) says:

Re: 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!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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”

Anonymous Coward says:

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?’

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...