[A2k] KEI critical of Canada's Bill C-32 provisions on export of accessible works for persons with disabilities

Manon Anne Ress manon.ress at keionline.org
Sun Jun 13 08:26:04 PDT 2010


Source URL: http://keionline.org/node/866

KEI critical of Canada's Bill C-32 provisions on export of accessible
works for persons with disabilities
By Manon Ress
Created 12 Jun 2010 - 8:19am

A new copyright bill in Canada includes extensive provisions about the
export of accessible works for persons with a “print disability.” The
good news is that they embrace a reasonably good definition of
disabilities covered. It goes down hill from there.

While Canada does propose to expand somewhat the ability to export works
in accessible formats for persons with disabilities, they have also set
out an extraordinarily narrow path for doing so. Taken together, at a
moment when the WIPO SCCR is entering important negotiations on cross
border exceptions, the Canadian action is harmful, for aiming so low.

Here are some quick comments:

      The good

   1. The definition of print disability seems very inclusive, including
not only "severe or total impairment of sight or the inability to focus
or move one’s eyes" but the "inability to hold or manipulate a book" or
"an impairment relating to comprehension."

      The confusing

   2. The Act focuses on "a format specially designed for persons with a
print disability," making it unnecessarily ambiguous when it comes to
formats that are "accessible" to both persons with disabilities and the
general population. We would prefer to use the term "accessible
formats."

      The bad

   3. There are several important limitations to the export authority,
including:
         1. The export provision would be limited to cases where the
author is a citizen or resident of Canada or the country where the copy
is sent.
         2. Large print books or cinematographic works would be
excluded. How will this be interpreted for electronic files that are
distributed for readers that have the option to provide large type on an
electronic display?
         3. Royalties must be paid, either to the author, or to a
collection society.
         4. The export cannot take place if the format "specially
designed for persons with a print disability . . . is available in that
country within a reasonable time and for a reasonable price, and may be
located in that country with reasonable effort."
         5. The exception is only available to non-profit entities, and
         6. Exports may be limited to intermediaries that have contracts
with the non-profit entity.

The limitations are quite restrictive, and suggest that Canada opposes
the World Blind Union proposal, which would cover any authors,
regardless of their nationality or residency, any accessible format, so
long was the work is "supplied exclusively to be used by" persons with
disabilities, would not require royalties if the "activity is undertaken
on a non-profit basis," would allow both non-profit and commercial
entities to use exceptions, and would only limit the availability of the
exception to the commercial users when a work is available from another
source, at a "reasonable" price in developed countries, and at an
"affordable" price in developing countries.

The Canadian government and Parliament may want to reflect on the fairly
recent experiment passing legislation to implement paragraph 6 of the
Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health. While, like here, Canada
was early in framing a legislative approach to a new demand for cross
border use of an exception, most observers say that Canada's first
effort was a failure, because of the many restrictions and burdensome
procedures. Indeed, the WTO TRIPS Council is now debating proposals to
hold further meetings to determine what went wrong with its 30 August
2003 decision regarding exports of medicines under a compulsory license.
(See here [1], and here [2]).

This legislative approach in bill c-32 as regards copyright exceptions
for disabilities provides the government with a pretense of having
addressed a widely recognized problem, but without actually making
things better. Indeed, by providing such a negative model for action,
Canada gives creditability to the argument that this topic is too
controversial to be addressed in a global treaty. By design, it
undermines the WBU position in the current SCCR negotiations. We are
quite disappointed.

The bill follows


Canada: Bill C-32

http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=4580265
[3]

37. The Act is amended by adding the following after section 32:

Sending copies outside Canada

32.01 (1) Subject to this section, it is not an infringement of
copyright for ac acting for the benefit of persons with a print
disability to make a copy, in a format specially designed for persons
with a print disability, of a work and to send the copy to a non-profit
organization in another country for use by persons with print
disabilities in that country, if the author of the work that is
reformatted is

(a) a Canadian citizen or permanent resident within the meaning of
subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; or

(b) a citizen or permanent resident of the country to which the copy is
sent.

Limitation

(2) Subsection (1) does not authorize a large print book or a
cinematographic work to be sent outside Canada.

Exception

Work available in country

(3) Subsection (1) does not authorize a copy to be sent to a country if
the organization knows or has reason to believe that the work, in the
format specially designed for persons with a print disability, is
available in that country within a reasonable time and for a reasonable
price, and may be located in that country with reasonable effort.

Royalty

(4) The organization making and sending the copy shall pay, in
accordance with the regulations, any royalty established under the
regulations to the copyright owner in the work.

If copyright owner cannot be located

(5) If the organization cannot locate the copyright owner, despite
making reasonable efforts to do so, the organization shall pay, in
accordance with the regulations, any royalty established under the
regulations to a collective society.

Reports

(6) The organization making and sending the copy shall submit reports to
an authority in accordance with the regulations on the organization’s
activities under this section.

Regulations

(7) The Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) requiring a non-profit organization that seeks to send a copy
outside Canada to, before doing so, enter into a contract with the
recipient non-profit organization with respect to the use of the copy;
(b) respecting the form and content of such contracts;
(c) respecting any royalties to be paid under subsections (4) and (5);
(d) respecting to which collective society a royalty is payable in
relation to works or classes of works for the purposes of subsection
(5);
(e) respecting what constitutes reasonable efforts for the purposes of
subsection (5); and
(f) respecting the reports to be made, and the authorities to which the
reports are to be submitted, under subsection (6).

Meaning of “print disability”

(8) In this section, “print disability” means a disability that prevents
or inhibits a person from reading a literary, musical or dramatic work
in its original format, and includes such a disability resulting from

(a) severe or total impairment of sight or the inability to focus or
move one’s eyes;
(b) the inability to hold or manipulate a book; or
(c) an impairment relating to comprehension.

37. La même loi est modifiée par adjonction, après l’article 32, de ce
qui suit :

Envoi d’oeuvres à l’étranger

32.01 (1) Sous réserve des autres dispositions du présent article, ne
constitue pas une violation du droit d’auteur le fait, pour un organisme
sans but lucratif agissant dans l’intérêt des personnes ayant une
déficience de lecture des imprimés, de reproduire une oeuvre sur un
support destiné à ces personnes et d’envoyer la reproduction à un autre
organisme sans but lucratif dans un autre pays à l’intention des
personnes ayant une telle déficience dans ce pays si l’auteur de
l’oeuvre mise sur ce support est soit un citoyen canadien ou un résident
permanent au sens du paragraphe 2(1) de la Loi sur l’immigration et la
protection des réfugiés, soit un citoyen ou un résident permanent du
pays de destination.

Exception

(2) Le paragraphe (1) n’a pas pour effet de permettre l’envoi à
l’étranger d’une oeuvre cinématographique ou d’un livre imprimé en gros
caractères.

Existence d’exemplaires sur le marché

(3) Le paragraphe (1) ne s’applique pas si l’organisme sans but lucratif
sait ou a des motifs de croire qu’il est possible de se procurer
l’oeuvre — sur un support destiné aux personnes ayant une déficience de
lecture des imprimés — dans le pays de destination, à un prix et dans un
délai raisonnables, et de la trouver moyennant des efforts raisonnables.

Redevances au titulaire du droit d’auteur

(4) L’organisme qui fait la reproduction et l’envoie à l’étranger verse
conformément aux règlements les redevances réglementaires au titulaire
du droit d’auteur.

Titulaire du droit d’auteur introuvable

(5) Si l’organisme est incapable de trouver le titulaire du droit
d’auteur, malgré des efforts sérieux déployés à cette fin, il verse les
redevances réglementaires à une société de gestion conformément aux
règlements.

Rapport

(6) L’organisme qui fait la reproduction et l’envoie à l’étranger fait
rapport sur ses activités dans le cadre du présent article en conformité
avec les règlements.

Règlements

(7) Le gouverneur en conseil peut prendre des règlements :

a) exigeant la conclusion d’un contrat, préalablement à l’envoi de la
reproduction, entre l’organisme qui l’envoie et celui qui la reçoit
relativement à l’utilisation de celle-ci;

b) prévoyant la forme et le contenu du contrat;
c) concernant les redevances à verser au titre des paragraphes (4) et
(5);
d) concernant les sociétés de gestion à qui verser les redevances à
l’égard d’oeuvres, ou de catégories d’oeuvres, pour l’application du
paragraphe (5);
e) concernant ce qui constitue des efforts sérieux pour l’application du
paragraphe (5);
f) concernant les rapports à faire au titre du paragraphe (6) et
l’autorité à qui les communiquer

Définition de « déficience de lecture des imprimés »

(8) Au présent article, « déficience de lecture des imprimés » s’entend
de toute déficience qui empêche la lecture d’une oeuvre littéraire,
dramatique ou musicale sur le support original ou la rend difficile, en
raison notamment :

a) de la privation en tout ou en grande partie du sens de la vue ou de
l’incapacité d’orienter le regard;
b) de l’incapacité de tenir ou de manipuler un livre;
c) d’une insuffisance relative à la compréhension.

Source URL: http://keionline.org/node/866

Links:
[1]
http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/2010/05/31/drug-access-waiver-debate-looms-for-june-trips-council-meeting/
[2] http://www.cptech.org/ip/health/c/canada/c9.html
[3]
http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=4580265





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