Marrakech Treaty For The Blind Signed; MPAA Unable To Kill It

from the could-it-be? dept

It took decades to get this done, but it appears that a copyright treaty for the blind has been signed in Marrakech, and despite a full court press from the MPAA to further water down the agreement, it appears the final version is closer to what the various public interest and blind groups wanted. Apparently, US and EU negotiators were not thrilled with the outcome, but couldn't fight it any more. The full text hasn't been released yet, but from all the commentary out of Marrakech, it sounds like the MPAA failed to poison this treaty. I'm sure we'll have more on this later, but two things to discuss out of this:
  1. Contrary to the claims of the USTR about how it would be crazy to negotiate agreements like ACTA, TPP or TAFTA with openness on the drafts being considered, this agreement was negotiated with transparency and (mostly) openness. Once again, we see that the USTR is full of it with its lack of transparency.
  2. There is still a ratification question. Expect the MPAA efforts to now shift to blocking the US from actually ratifying the treaty, which is rather important, since the key part of the treaty is letting creative works for the blind enter into various countries, but most of the books would likely originate from the US....


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 4:46pm

    Heading for this article

    MPAA tried hard to screw over the blind, but got blindsided.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 5:00pm

    You know, this business with the NSA will probably result in more fall out than is presently considered by the US government, corporations, and treaty processes.

    Unless the US government comes clean with all the spying business, these countries they are asking for signing on to treaties is likely to tell the US they can't trust them to honor what they sign. Antigua comes to mind in that one as a prime example that could now work against them.

    While the entertainment industries do have national copy right enforcers and pushers for law, most of them are actually viewed as being arms of the US group.

    That's not going to be good for the long haul without this government restoring trust and so far they are batting zero.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Niall (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 5:10am

      Re:

      I'm sorry, no-one trusts the US to stick to treaties it's signed (if it even signs them) unless it's IP-related. And in the US favour.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2013 @ 7:03am

        Re: Re:

        In favor of U.S. politicians, not in the favor of the U.S. citizens. IP law does the U.S. no good, only the middlemen and the politicians that receive campaign contributions and revolving door favors in exchange for passing insanely one sided laws (ie: 95+ year copy protection lengths).

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 5:02pm

    Well you can't teach dinosaurs new tricks.

    It would appear that the MPAA would once again have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the future.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 5:12pm

    The MPAA and the US government probably are going to get some warm milk to calm themselves.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Beech, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 5:44pm

    I do hate to quibble, but I think you need to consider how the USTR is going to spin this. As you said, the negotiations were pretty open. They also went on for a decade, as you also mentioned. Now of course there's correlation=/=causation to consider there, but the USTR will absolutely not consider it. Nevermind the industry groups stalling and trying to poison the well, because the USTR is quite fond of industry groups. They are going to say "See, open treaties take just soooo long to negotiate. We neeeed to do 'something' about piracy NOW! We are losing bajillion jobs and enough money to build a death star a year because of it! We can't wait the 10+ years it takes to get an 'open' treaty signed."

    Slimey? You bectcha. But that's how these people operate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 5:56pm

    And now the entire Copyright industry will crumble and fall into lawless chaos. Or so the Copyright industry would have us believe.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 6:13pm

    Contrary to the claims of the USTR about how it would be crazy to negotiate agreements like ACTA, TPP or TAFTA with openness on the drafts being considered, this agreement was negotiated with transparency and (mostly) openness. Once again, we see that the USTR is full of it with its lack of transparency.

    And the final treaty went against the wishes of the MPAA, which the USTR considers a disaster. So to them, this is a perfect example of how openness is a problem, since the outcome of such open negotiations won't please their corporate masters.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 6:41pm

    "Cuuuuuurse you, Masniiiiiiick!" screamed out_of_the_blue, wringing his evil fake mustache made from the pubic hairs of rare Arabian yaks. How would he fund his $100 million movies if blind people could steal them from under his nose?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Ninja (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 3:48am

      Re:

      wringing his evil fake mustache made from the pubic hairs of rare Arabian yaks

      I'm probably looking like a maniac laughing here. Hilarious!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 6:52pm

    I can’t wait until the riaa hits up the NSA for copyright infringement…what?
    You know they get music in the background…

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    john e miller, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 8:03pm

    'Blind Treaty' Ratification

    As is noted in item 2. above on ratification (or not) of the Treaty, this is most likely already in the works. From the International Publishers Association (IPA) Newsletter #101 in April 2013:

    The “success” of the Marrakech diplomatic conference in June was inevitable. We will probably have a treaty. However, whether it will then be ratified by member states is another question.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Jun 25th, 2013 @ 10:42pm

    I personally wouldn't be surprised if this is not ratified by the USA, especially in light of the USA still not having ratified the UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) where it has the dubious honor of being only 3 countries on the planet not to of.. Somalia and South Sudan being the other two...

    So if kids can't get there natural rights to be free of death penalties and/or life imprisonment for children the blind are basically stuffed in the USA.

    Though Mike your second point alludes to the situation that if the books originate from the USA they wont be available elsewhere , this is false.. The treaty would allow ratifying countries to distribute books for the blind and if the USA companies who own the content try to sue for infringement they would be stopped by an affirmative defense under the treaty.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      john e miller, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 11:10pm

      Re: post #11

      I am not attorney so I will not take issue with your statement. However, in any Member State which does not ratify the treaty, Authorized Entities / NGOs may be precluded from exporting accessible materials at least under the provisions of the Treaty as national laws will not have been modified -- if necessary -- to conform with the provisions of the Marrakesh Treaty.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        john e miller, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 11:39pm

        Re: post #12

        OK I'll just add this from the version of the Treaty Draft Text as of last night:

        Article 1 -- Relation to other Conventions and Treaties

        Nothing in this treaty shall derogate from any obligations that Contracting Parties have to each other under any other treaties, nor shall it prejudice any rights that a Contracting Party has under any other treaties.

        So the 'affirmative defense' statement above may be questionable.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          G Thompson (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 12:08am

          Re: Re: post #12

          That actual text is pretty much a stock standard template for any treaty nowadays, and is basic contract terminology. And as read highly ambiguous.

          Though once ratified it becomes law in whatever jurisdiction it is ratified in. Yes other treaties are also part of the law of that jurisdiction too which is where conflicts arise all the time. I'd agree that the affirmative part of my original comment is suspect, though it is highly dependent on how the law is stated after the ratification is completed. A prime example of this is using the UNCRC in conjuction with extradition treaties of say Australia and the USA. Both treaties have a similar " Relation to other Conventions and Treaties" statement but due to the actual law of Australia the UNCRC Treaty overrides the extradition treaty absolutely with an affirmative defense if a child were wanted for extradition to the USA on criminal charges (Interestingly the same applies to Adults wanted too if the death penalty could be imposed in the USA).

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        G Thompson (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 12:16am

        Re: Re: post #11

        Authorized Entities / NGOs may be precluded from exporting accessible materials

        That will always be the case since the jurisdiction where they are exporting from has sadly not ratified it and still considers it an infringement on copyright to allow these works to be transformed etc for disability purposes.

        What I'm stating is that anyone who imports, copies or distributes who resides in the jurisdiction where the treaty has been ratified would be less likely to be sued for wrongful infringement under this situation [ my comment below states reasoning why]

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          G Thompson (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 12:23am

          Re: Re: Re: post #11

          Also I just had a quick look at your site.. Congratulations on all the work you have done in SE Asia and congrats on this new treaty.. My advise is to relax, and then take some deep breaths because now the real work and stresses to get this ratified everywhere begins ;)

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          john e miller, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 7:37pm

          Re: post #15

          Again, I do not know of the disposition of US copyrighted materials if the US does not ratify the Marrakesh Treaty. However, as persons in Ecuador are finding out regarding the Snowden affair, if the USA finds that its laws have been intentionally violated, there are sundry means involving other aspects of trade at its disposal.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    j, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 1:15am

    As I said I'm not a lawyer but both the legal counsel for the AAP & IPA (as above) seem to feel that non-ratification has some impact. So I'l let THEM worry about it. Thanks for the kind words.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 3:42am

    i fail to see (no pun meant) how any organisation could want to be associated with anything that was so vindictive, so discriminating against a section of the community, world wide, that is disabled! how anyone would want to do whatever they possibly could to prevent the blind from 'seeing' things is disgraceful. and all over money and control! everything out of the USA, particularly as far as Hollywood and the entertainment industries are concerned is about how they can make more money and hang on to what they've already got (by not paying their own artists!). to openly discriminate against the blind is something to be ashamed of and if possible they need to be taken to court for discrimination!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Who Cares (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 5:56am

      Why?

      Simple. They are using the slippery slope argument. As is explicitly stated in the older TD article linked:
      “What happens here could affect other future treaties,” said Chris Marcich, who is in charge of dealing with the negotiations for the MPAA and its international wing, the Motion Picture Association.

      So the blind are just collateral damage in an attempt to prevent copyright from being watered down.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        john e miller, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 6:50am

        Re: Why?

        As to the blind being 'collateral damage', those who sponsored the treaty in 2009 and have taken it to this point were well aware of the opposition that would be deployed.

        Now, given the approval of the treaty text, we will soon enough find out if they have adequately prepared themselves for what may be a grueling ratification process at least in those countries from where the bulk of copyrighted materials -- and copyrighted materials already available in accessible format -- will originate.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 5:44am

    "i fail to see (no pun meant) how any organisation could want to be associated with anything that was so vindictive, so discriminating against a section of the community, world wide, that is disabled!"

    Haven't dealt with the MPAA before, I see.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Intellectual Property Watch, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 12:19pm

    WIPO Treaty for the Blind Draft Text From Marrakesh

    The full treaty text from Marrakesh is actually available on IP-Watch: http://bit.ly/1acxFNy

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 4:27pm

    Suck it MAFIAA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This