The United States is a Member State of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and an active member of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR). An on-going focus of the SCCR is the topic of limitations and exceptions to exclusive rights, including those for visually impaired and print disabled persons. At the next meeting in Geneva (June 21-25, 2010), the Copyright Office will participate as part of the U.S. delegation to the SCCR, which continues to discuss a treaty proposal introduced by the delegations of Brazil, Ecuador, and Paraguay. This treaty would mandate certain exceptions and other practices regarding the cross-border import, export, and qualified distribution of copyrighted works for the blind, visually impaired, and other reading disabled persons without the need for permission from the rights holders. The treaty proposal is based on text that was prepared under the auspices of the World Blind Union. In addition, the SCCR will continue work toward a possible international consensus instrument to facilitate the cross-border transfer of copyrighted works for the benefit of the print disabled.
The Copyright Office also actively supports the work of the WIPO Stakeholders’ Platform, which has been convened to consider issues with respect to the role of technology and the use of trusted intermediaries in creating systems to facilitate access to copyrighted works for blind and visually impaired persons. The WIPO Stakeholders’ Platform reports to the SCCR on its activities, which have recently included releasing draft Trusted Intermediary Guidelines.
Please see the links below for additional information regarding the work of the SCCR and the Stakeholders’ Platform.
U.S. Delegation Statement to WIPO (May 26, 2009)
WBU Treaty Proposal (WIPO) (May 25, 2009 to May 29, 2009)
U.S. Delegation Statement to WIPO (December 15, 2009)
U.S. Draft Proposal for a Consensus Instrument Regarding Persons with Print Disabilities (June 21, 2010 to June 24, 2010)
WIPO Stakeholders - Vision IP