[A2k] WIPO SCCR - Statement of Getulio Vargas Foundation

Judit Rius Sanjuan judit.rius at keionline.org
Wed Jun 23 07:47:15 PDT 2010

Marilia Maciel from FGV - Brazil read this statement at WIPO today. 

Statement of Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) at the 20th SCCR

I speak on behalf of the Center for technology and society of the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Brazil, which develops research on the intersection between Intellectual property law and technology. Recently, the Brazilian Ministry of Culture has launched an online consultation to discuss the reform of the Brazilian copyright law. Among other important limitations, the proposal of reform includes the possibility to adapt protected works by any means necessary to ensure access for people with disabilities. We as Brazilians are doing our homework, but we believe this is not enough. We hope that in the future this limitation to improve access for the visually impaired can be combined with an international guarantee of cross-border movement of works in accessible formats.

FGV would like to show its support to the proposal put forth by Brazil, Paraguay, Ecuador and Mexico on a treaty for improved access for the blind and visually impaired. This proposal avoids duplication, saves resources and allows free transit of works published in accessible formats. We also agree that a binding instrument would be the best way to ensure the broad adoption and enforceability of this norm. We believe SCCR should base its discussions on the treaty proposal mentioned above. It certainly can be adapted to address some concerns of other countries and groups, which have also shown their commitment and presented alternative proposals. Any article of the treaty, however, such as the one about a “trusted intermediary”, should hamper the effective exercise of the limitation to copyright for the visually impaired. It should not be necessary to ask the consent or remunerate the rights owners, otherwise we lose the very meaning of exceptions and limitations.

Mr. chairman, FGV would like to congratulate the enormous effort put forth by this Committee and its Secretariat, which have made the discussions on L&E transparent and easy to follow by all interested parties. We believe that multistakeholder discussions are the best way to proceed. We urge all member states to deal with agreements that may have a broad impact on the IP system in international forums, such as WIPO, and in a transparent manner. 

Last but not least, we would like to ask the secretariat and the member countries to study how to implement the webcasting of WIPO meetings. It would be an important step towards transparency and legitimacy. Webcasting has worked well in other UN meetings, such as the Internet Governance Forum and there are many successful experiences that can provide insights on this regard. We would like to congratulate the initiative of making captioning available to the participants of the meeting. It makes it easier to follow the proceedings not only for the hearing disabled and to people who don´t speak English as a native language, but it can also be a useful resource to people, specially in developing countries, who have low bandwidth but would certainly be interested to follow the future webcast of WIPO meetings.

Thank you.

Centro de Tecnologia e Sociedade
FGV Direito Rio

Center for Technology and Society
Getulio Vargas Foundation
Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

Judit Rius Sanjuan
Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)
NYC Phone: 212 222 5180
Washington DC Phone: 202 332 2670

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