[Art_beyond_sight_educators] a bit off the subject - but not completly

Lisa Yayla fnugg at online.no
Fri Dec 7 10:32:38 UTC 2012


Thought this would be of interest, perhaps a bit off the subject but 
then maybe not. Has to do with accessiblity of printed matter and an 
agency in the UN putting forth purposals.


WIPO General Assemblies Approve Road Map on Treaty for the Visually 
[World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the 17 
specialized agencies of the United Nations]

In a significant development the 50th session of Assemblies of WIPO 
member states reached a breakthrough decision on how to complete 
negotiations on a pact to improve access to copyrighted works for the 
many visually impaired or print disabled people around the world.

The meeting of the General Assembly which concluded on October 9, 2012 
approved a road map that could lead in 2013 to a historic diplomatic 
conference for an international treaty focused on improving access to 
published works for persons who are visually impaired or print disabled. 
The Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) will hold 
inter-sessional meetings from October 17-19, 2012 to work on the text of 
the instrument. The SCCR will meet from November 19-23, 2012 and will 
continue discussions on the text with the objective of concluding or 
substantially advancing the text-based work on this topic. Member states 
agreed to convene an extraordinary meeting of the General Assembly in 
December 2012 to assess progress on the text and decide whether to 
convene a diplomatic conference in 2013. Some 300 million blind or 
visually impaired people around the world stand to benefit from a more 
flexible copyright regime adapted to current technological realities. 
Individuals with reading impairment often need to convert information 
into Braille, large print, audio, electronic and other formats using 
assistive technologies. Only a very small percentage of published books 
around the world are available in formats accessible to the visually 

At the closing of the Assemblies, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry 
welcomed the "extremely constructive engagement of member states" in the 
work of the Organization as demonstrated in the decisions taken by the 
Assemblies. He underlined the progress made by member states in setting 
timetables for concluding negotiations on international instruments on 
access to copyrighted work by the visually impaired, design law and 
intellectual property and genetic resources, traditional knowledge and 
folklore. The Chair of the WIPO General Assembly, Serbia's Permanent 
Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Uglješa 
Zvekić, also welcomed the positive outcome of the Assemblies which took 
stock of the work of the Organization and set timetables to conclude 
normative work in several areas. Representatives of regional groups, and 
individual member states, also welcomed the outcome of the Assemblies 
and the positive spirit among member states. Regional groups 
specifically underlined decisions to move forward in discussions on a 
treaty to facilitate access to copyrighted works by the visually 
impaired or print disabled.

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