Public Meeting

The agenda and procedure stated below follow the March 26, 2009 Federal Register Notice in which the United States Copyright Office (Copyright Office) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced a public meeting on the topic of copyright exceptions for the blind or other persons with disabilities.1 The meeting was held in connection with a forthcoming meeting of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). 

Date and Location of Public Meeting:

The meeting was held on Monday, May 18, 2009, from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm in the Montpelier Room of the Library of Congress, James Madison Building, 6th Floor, 101 Independence Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20559.

Members of the public were invited to observe the meeting on a walk-in basis.

Participating panelists are listed below.

Meeting Agenda:

The meeting agenda is listed below and included topics raised in the March 26 Federal Register Notice, as well as topics raised by interested parties in the written comments and reply comments requested by that Notice. Panel participants had an opportunity to make brief statements, in addition to responding to questions from Copyright Office and USPTO representatives.

During each panel specified below, the Copyright Office and USPTO sought information on experiences accessing U.S. works or sharing accessible copies within the United States, experiences accessing foreign works or sharing accessible copies of U.S. works with foreign persons, and proposed measures for facilitating and enhancing access to copyrighted works.

9:30 am – 10:00 am
Introductory Remarks re: Nature of Inquiry, U.S. Legal and Regulatory Framework, and International Framework

10:00 am – 11:30 am 
Panel I
Access to Copyrighted Works for the Blind or Other Persons with Disabilities under Existing U.S. Statutory and Regulatory Provisions:

11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Panel II
Existing Initiatives Affecting Access to Copyrighted Works for the Blind or Other Persons with Disabilities: 

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Lunch break              

2:30 pm – 5:15 pm
Panel III

Possible Actions to Facilitate and Enhance Access to Copyrighted Works for the Blind or Other Persons with Disabilities:

5:15 pm
Concluding Remarks 

Panel I

Panel II

Panel III

1 Various terms are used formally and informally throughout the world.  When inquiring about experiences within the United States, the term used in this Notice of Inquiry is that which appears in U.S. copyright law.  See 17 U.S.C. §121(d)(2).  There, the term “blind or other persons with disabilities”  is defined to include “individuals who are eligible or who may qualify in accordance with the Act entitled 'An Act to provide books for the adult blind,' approved March 3, 1931 (2 U.S.C. §135a; 46 Stat. 1487)." Please note that this was inadvertently misquoted in the Federal Register Notice as "blind and people with other disabilities." See Federal Register Notice, footnote 1.