WIPO: Visually impaired treaty proposal

By EDRi · June 3, 2009

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Deutsch: [WIPO: Antrag auf ein Abkommen für Sehbehinderte | http://www.unwatched.org/node/1418]

The WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) met from
25 to 29 May in Geneva. This time, the main points on the agenda were the
survey on limitations and exceptions and the visually impaired treaty
proposal introduced by Brazil Ecuador and Paraguay (BEP proposal).

As usual, the committee also briefly dealt with the situation pertaining
broadcaster’s rights and audiovisual protection but since the national
positions are not moving, no real progress was made.

The most interesting part of the meeting was the discussion about the
BEP proposal. The treaty was strongly supported by the South American
countries and it was also seen in a favourable light by most of the African
representatives (which would like to see even wider support for access to
information, though) and Asian delegates.

However, group B and the European Union did their best to derail the process
of getting the treaty under serious consideration. The given reasons for
this were rather perplexing e.g. “the matter is so complex” (unlike the
broadcast treaty?) and “there’s need for more fact-finding” (there’s lot of
published research by both WIPO and WBU). In reality, the civil servants
from Germany, France etc. want to oppose categorically any instrument which
would give rights to the users. However, since it is not politically
possible to oppose helping visually impaired persons such poor excuses are

EDRi also stressed in its intervention the fact that EU is ready to use a
“hard law” approach to help elder stage musicians so it would be very
unsincere to oppose the same approach for blind persons.

WIPO Limitations & Exceptions Treaty Advances; Audiovisual Treaty Gets New
Life (30.05.2009)

SCCR to Expedite Work in Favor of Reading Impaired (2.06.2009)

(Contribution by Ville Oksanen, EDRI-member EFFI)