[nfb-talk] Fw: [A2k] Canada's Intervention at WIPO SCCR meeting

John G. Heim jheim at math.wisc.edu
Mon Jun 29 14:27:19 UTC 2009


Below is a message from the access to knowledge email list. This is from a 
person named James Love who works for Knowledge Ecology Incorporated. KEI is 
one of the groups that created the proposed treaty to allow groups like 
bookshare.org to share books worldwide rather than just within the United 
States. In his message below, James explains what happened at the worldwide 
convention last May when the treaty was discussed. When he mentions Tuesday, 
he means Tuesday of the last week of May, 2009.

The reason I'm posting this is that the Obama administration issued a press 
release about a week after the convention that some people read as progress. 
I don't think so.  I do not believe that the position of the United States 
has changed significantly since the events related below. My point is that 
after reading about how firm the opposition to the treaty was last May, I 
would not assume that the position of the United States has changed 
significantly based on one fairly vaguely worded press release and that a 
more realistic take would be that the press release was a diplomatic way of 
saying no.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "James Love" <jamespackardlove at gmail.com>
To: "Manon Ress" <manon.ress at keionline.org>
Cc: "a2k discuss list" <a2k at lists.essential.org>; "Howard Knopf" 
<knopf at rogers.com>
Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 8:54 AM
Subject: Re: [A2k] Canada's Intervention at WIPO SCCR meeting

> For many countries, SCCR 18 was a difficult topic.  On the one hand
> there was a proposal to begin discussions on a treaty for blind and
> other persons with reading disabilities. On the other hand, 26
> right-owner groups were opposing those discussions, and publishers had
> pushed for a "stakeholders platform" as an alternative.
> Canada, and United States and several other countries made interventions
> at the SCCR on Tuesday.  At no point during Canada's presentation did
> anyone hear them support having discussions about a treaty.   On
> Thursday, Group B announced opposition to discussions of a treaty --
> later modified to opposition to discussing "any instrument."
> Canada, the US, NZ, Norway, Switzerland, the Holy See, Australia, Japan,
> and most of the individual members of the EU, are members of Group B.
> None of these countries would disassociate themselves with the Group B
> position, on Thursday or Friday (despite a lot of lobbying on this
> topic).  Some right-owner groups asked the Canada delegation if it was
> for or against the treaty being discussed at  SCCR 19, and no one could
> tell what the answer was.  Canada was upset that it was being blamed for
> the Group B position (so is the US government), but it was what it was.
> Group B opposed discussions, and lobbied hard in the green room
> (represented by Germany) in opposition to the discussions.   All of the
> Group B members stuck to together.
> The US and Canada have tried hard to spin what happened to domestic
> constituencies who were not at the SCCR 18, and who did not appreciate
> how diplomats support or kill things.
> Perhaps this can be seen as water over the dam.  What matters now will
> be the position taken at the WIPO general assembly, and at the SCCR 19.
> What bothers me is not only that Group B member countries collectively
> opposed the treaty discussions, but that none of them have been willing
> to be active promoters of the treaty.  Certainly the US and Canada were
> both actively lobbied to LEAD on this issue.  Certainly that has not
> happened, because all of the Group B countries so far are too
> intimidated by the publishers lobby to do what needs to be done.
> The treaty will never succeed unless this changes.  Some Group B
> countries have to step up to the plate and do the right thing.
> Jamie
>          On Mon, 2009-06-29 at 09:20 -0400, Manon Ress wrote:
>> --
>> [ Picked text/plain from multipart/alternative ]
>> The interesting thing is that it was hard to find a Group B country
>> (except EU) saying they were opposed to the treaty.  But Group B ended
>> up not supporting ANY instrument.
>> Is Group B just the EU then?  Canada and the US could reverse the
>> situation.  If they wanted to.
>> Manon
>> http://excesscopyright.blogspot.com/2009/06/canada-submission-at-wipo-sccr-meeting.html
>> Saturday, June 27, 2009
>> Canada' Submission at WIPO SCCR meeting
>> This is a summary of Canada's submission at the WIPO SCCR meeting May
>> 25-29, 2008. As can be seen, Canada is more positive about the concept
>> of treaty for the rights of the blind than certain other prominent
>> Group B countries:
>> The Canadian delegation made two interventions at the meeting, one on
>> access by the visually impaired to copyright works (on May 27) and the
>> other the proposed treaty on broadcasters' rights (on May 28).
>> The substantive discussion on access by the visually impaired focussed
>> primarily on the Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay draft treaty.
>> The Canadian intervention on this issue included the following elements:
>> 1) It noted that it would be premature for the Canadian delegation to
>> comment specifically on the Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay draft treaty
>> (given that it was introduced during the meeting).
>> 2) It said that any instrument should allow a variety of mechanisms
>> for the production of accessible copies for domestic purposes, e.g. an
>> exception, a compulsory licence or a conditional exception.
>> 3) It expressed general principles that should feature in any eventual
>> solution. The principles expressed were intended to apply regardless
>> of the type of instrument (i.e. binding or non-binding) which might be
>> adopted.
>> 4) It noted that countries should be allowed to have different types
>> of limitations or exceptions with respect to different types of
>> adapted materials.
>> (Note: for example, a country might have an exception to produce
>> Braille material but a compulsory licence to produce audiobooks.)
>> 5) It noted that it is not necessary to have a uniform rule in all
>> countries to allow the international exchange of adapted materials.
>> 6) It noted that it would be necessary to discuss the norms which
>> would apply to the exchange of materials among countries which have
>> different limitations or exceptions for the production of adapted
>> material.
>> (Note: for example the export of an adapted copy made under an
>> exception to a country which used a compulsory licence.)
>> 7) It noted that any instrument should facilitate the international
>> exchange of adapted material.
>> 8) It would be necessary to clarify how the three step test for
>> limitations and exceptions applies to the import and export of
>> material made under a limitation or exception.
>> ***************************************************************************
>> Manon Ress
>> manon.ress at keionline.org
>> Knowledge Ecology International
>> 1621 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20009 USA
>> Tel.:  +1.202.332.2670, Fax: +1.202.332.2673
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