Conclusions from the 25th Meeting of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights
Related Rights (SCCR) concluded on Friday 24th November with some progress made towards the concluding of an international instrument for visually impaired persons (VIP). In addition, while there was only a very short period of time allocated to the discussion of copyright limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives, delegates also reaffirmed their commitment to work on this issue in pursuit of recommendations being made to the WIPO General Assembly in SCCR 28 in 2014.
Intense discussions took place throughout the week on the working text of the proposed instrument for visually impaired persons with delegates often working until 9pm to iron out differences and agree wording. Civil society groups representing libraries and the visually impaired often had to watch from the sidelines as discussions took place in informal sessions, although there was commendable outreach from some delegations to gather views and opinions as the negotiations progressed.
SCCR 25 was notable for a public declaration from the European Union which stated it was now willing to back a binding treaty for visually impaired persons. The World Blind Union and other groups representing the visually impaired welcomed this statement, but also cautioned that the United States has not yet adopted the same position.
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See Also: Treaty for the Blind: A Watered Down Agreement Moves Forward at the World Intellectual Property Organization (via EFF)
See Also: Canada endorses treaty for copyright exceptions for print disabilities at WIPO SCCR 25 (via KEI Online)
See Also: IFLA, EIFL, ICA and German Library Association Statement on a Treaty for the Visually Impaired at SCCR 25 (via IFLA)
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.