[Nfbmo] International copyright concerns for blind folks.

Gary Wunder gwunder at earthlink.net
Sat May 30 14:24:47 UTC 2009

Wonderful note.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Fred" <goodfolks at charter.net>
To: "NFB of Missouri Mailing List" <nfbmo at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Friday, May 29, 2009 7:09 PM
Subject: [Nfbmo] International copyright concerns for blind folks.

>I was sent this note and asked to post it to the list. It relates to the 
>previous posting on this topic.
> Fred Olver
> President Obama,
>    Even given that I was a supporter of your candidacy for the US
> presidency, I have been very impressed with your nuanced and
> intelligent leadership on the many extraordinary challenges
> facing the US and the world.  I am very dismayed, though, to find out
> that your administration is supporting modifications to the
> international copyright law that would close off access to books for the
> the blind of the world - and in particular in the US.  There are some
> 15 million Americans who cannot, for various reasons, read printed
> matter.  We are dependent upon government (the NLS talking
> Books program), NGOs (Bookshare, RFB&D and variouslocal organizations)
> and very expensive software to gain the same access to books, magazines
> and literature that any other American enjoys.
>       Please review the US stance which would only benefit the large
> publishing houses, who have already staked out a position against blind
> access to books on the Amazon Kindle.   Please note that as the population 
> ages, there will be a great porportion and absolute number of US and world 
> citizens who will begin to lose their vision due
> to macular degeneration, diabetes, high blood pressure,
> Glaucoma and other ophthalmic disorders.   I lost most of my central=2
> 0
> vision in 1994 secondary to renal failure.  Instead of losing my
> position as a clinical research analyst due to lack of access
> to needed information, I was able to maintain my employment through the
> use of the above-named organizations and software. Over those years
> I've provided many hours advising people in the
> early stages of blindness on the many resources available to them.  I
> can tellyou that it has made a huge difference in their lives.  Instead
> of living in dark isolation, they realize that they can still read.
>     However, even with current resources, we still don't have the same
> wide-ranging access to books and periodicals that sighted people have.
> The new treaty could vastly help with this by preserving and
> expanding exceptions to copyright laws for blind and disabled users.
>       In an age when technology has helped us make great inroads into
> accessibility, please don't place the US on the side of those who would
> halt our progress by eliminating this essential exception for
> the disabled.
>    Please let me know if I can be of further help,
> yours,
> Daniel R. Flasar
> 1178 Claytonia Terrace
> Richmond Heights, MO  63117
> danflasar at aol.com
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Frye, Dan <
> DFrye at nfb.org>
> To:
> david.andrews at nfbnet.org
> Sent: Fri, 29 May 2009 2:30 pm
> Subject: [Nfbmo] International Copyright Concerns for Blind Readers
> Colleagues:
> I am circulating a lengthy post regardin
> g efforts to limit an
> international treaty that would allow for rules that parallel existing
> domestic exceptions to the copyright law for blind people to govern in
> an international context. Please help bring pressure on authorities by
> letting President Obama know that these provisions would be useful, and
> ask him to direct his representatives to abandon their hostile posture
> toward aspects of the treaty that would be helpful. You may Email your
> concerns to:
> <mailto:President at whitehouse.gov>President at whitehouse.gov
> The post follows:
> 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'
> US 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 =0
> D
> 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 t
> his 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
> #sccr18
> With Kind Regards,
> ***********************
> Daniel B. Frye, J.D.
> Associate Editor
> The Braille Monitor
> National Federation of the Blind
> Office of the President
> 1800 Johnson Street
> Baltimore, Maryland 21230
> Telephone: (410) 659-9314 Ext. 2208
> Mobile: (410) 241-7006
> Fax: (410) 685-5653
> Email: <
> mailto:DFrye at nfb.org>DFrye at nfb.org
> Web Address: <
> http://www.nfb.org/>www.nfb.org
> "Voice of the Nation's Blind"
> _______________________________________________
> Nfbmo mailing list
> Nfbmo at nfbnet.org
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nfbmo_nfbnet.org
> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
> Nfbmo:
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nfbmo_nfbnet.org/danflasar%40aol.com
> _______________________________________________
> Nfbmo mailing list
> Nfbmo at nfbnet.org
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nfbmo_nfbnet.org
> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for 
> Nfbmo:
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nfbmo_nfbnet.org/gwunder%40earthlink.net

More information about the NFBMO mailing list