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Why Is A Treaty For Letting The Blind Have Access To Books Too Difficult, But ACTA Is Fine?

from the questions,-questions dept

We've pointed out the hypocrisy of the industry folks who are eagerly supporting the expansion of copyright via ACTA, but who are against a few very limited simple exceptions to copyright for the blind in a new WIPO treaty. However, in defending this position, a European Union Commissioner, Michel Barnier, has explained to the European Blind Union, that doing a treaty is just too hard, and it's much easier to just do a much more limited "joint recommendation," which would be a lot weaker. As KEI's Jamie Love points out in the link above, it seems odd here that the EU is admitting that it's too difficult to bother creating new treaties around copyright... at the same time it's heavily involved in ACTA and a number of other copyright treaties. Apparently it's only worth undertaking that kind of effort when it ratchets copyright up in favor of industry. The blind? Eh. Not worth the effort...

Filed Under: acta, blind, copyright, eu, treaties

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  1. icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), 4 Mar 2011 @ 9:03am


    This is to a significant degree not an issue in the United States, so if anything your criticism should be directed towards those countries who do not have their own counterparts that address the matter addressed by 17 USC 121.
    Not totally convinced on that given a literal reading of what you posted depending on the meaning of several of the words in it in context of the rest of it:
    "authorized entity" for example - does that mean authorised by the US government, or by the rightsholder? Either way it doesn't necessarily say anyone has to be authorised, just that they're exempt from ingringement if they are.
    Also "Non-dramatic literary work" - does that mean no play scripts? Or no fiction? seems an odd-ish limtation.
    And "specialized formats exclusively for..." - what about audiobook format? That's not exclusive to blind or disabled people, but seems an obvious format for them. I could be wrong but I'd be suprised if audiobooks are exempt from copyright.

    The UK also has significant "accessibiity" laws for the disabled - probably as more so than the US- but here too it doesn't mean disabled people couldn't use more help still and they certainly deserve more international effort to my mind that enormous mega-corporations, which I think was kind of the point of the article.

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