blind_html Re: more Obama-Nations!

  • From: Nimer Jaber <nimerjaber1@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blind_html@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 29 May 2009 19:30:23 -0400

Come on people, let's see if we can raise some hell!!

On 5/29/09, The Elf <inthaneelf@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>     read and do what you can folks, if we want to be able to read things in
> the future!
> inthane
> Begin forwarded message:
> Subject: Cory Doctorow: USA, Canada and the EU attempt to kill treaty to
> protect blind people's access to written material
> Reply-To: Manon Ress <manon.ress@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> USA, Canada and the EU attempt to kill treaty to protect blind people's
> access to written material
> Posted by Cory Doctorow, May 29, 2009 1:52 AM
> Right now, in Geneva, at the UN's World Intellectual Property Organization,
> history is being made. For the first time in WIPO history, the body that
> creates the world's copyright treaties is attempting to write a copyright
> treaty dedicated to protecting the interests of copyright users, not just
> copyright owners.
> At issue is a treaty to protect the rights of blind people and people with
> other disabilities that affect reading (people with dyslexia, people who are
> paralyzed or lack arms or hands for turning pages). This should be a slam
> dunk: who wouldn't want a harmonized system of copyright exceptions that
> ensure that it's possible for disabled people to get access to the written
> word?
> The USA, that's who. The Obama administration's negotiators have joined with
> a rogue's gallery of rich country trade representatives to oppose protection
> for blind people. Other nations and regions opposing the rights of blind
> people include Canada and the EU.
> Update: Also opposing rights for disabled people: Australia, New Zealand,
> the Vatican and Norway.
> Activists at WIPO are desperate to get the word out. They're tweeting madly
> from the negotiation (technically called the 18th session of the Standing
> Committee on Copyright and Related Rights) publishing editorials on the
> Huffington Post, etc.
> Here's where you come in: this has to get wide exposure, to get cast as
> broadly as possible, so that it will find its way into the ears of the
> obscure power-brokers who control national trade-negotiators.
> I don't often ask readers to do things like this, but please, forward this
> post to people you know in the US, Canada and the EU, and ask them to
> reblog, tweet, and spread the word, especially to government officials and
> activists who work on disabled rights. We know that WIPO negotiations can be
> overwhelmed by citizen activists -- that's how we killed the Broadcast
> Treaty negotiation a few years back -- and with your help, we can make
> history, and create a world where copyright law protects the public
> interest.
>    I am attending a meeting in Geneva of the World Intellectual Property
> Organization (WIPO). This evening the United States government, in
> combination with other high income countries in "Group B" is seeking to
> block an agreement to discuss a treaty for persons who are blind or have
> other reading disabilities.
>    The proposal for a treaty is supported by a large number of civil society
> NGOs, the World Blind Union, the National Federation of the Blind in the US,
> the International DAISY Consortium, Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic
> (RFB&D), Bookshare.Org, and groups representing persons with reading
> disabilities all around the world.
>    The main aim of the treaty is to allow the cross-border import and export
> of digital copies of books and other copyrighted works in formats that are
> accessible to persons who are blind, visually impaired, dyslexic or have
> other reading disabilities, using special devices that present text as
> refreshable braille, computer generated text to speech, or large type. These
> works, which are expensive to make, are typically created under national
> exceptions to copyright law that are specifically written to benefit persons
> with disabilities...
>    The opposition from the United States and other high income countries is
> due to intense lobbying from a large group of publishers that oppose a
> "paradigm shift," where treaties would protect consumer interests, rather
> than expand rights for copyright owners.
>    The Obama Administration was lobbied heavily on this issue, including
> meetings with high level White House officials. Assurances coming into the
> negotiations this week that things were going in the right direction have
> turned out to be false, as the United States delegation has basically read
> from a script written by lobbyists for publishers, extolling the virtues of
> market based solutions, ignoring mountains of evidence of a "book famine"
> and the insane legal barriers to share works.
> Obama Joins Group to Block Treaty for Blind and Other Reading Disabilities
> Twitter feed for #sccr18
> ***************************************************************************
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