[A2k] Video on Commercial availability of accessible format (Marrakesh)

Manon Ress manon.ress at keionline.org
Tue Jun 18 06:25:55 PDT 2013

One important issue being negotiated at the WIPO diplomatic conference in
Marrakesh is the definition of commercial availability of a book or
document in an accessible format.

A handful of countries (the UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Argentina)
have legislation restricting the use of exemptions where a commercial
version of the work is available in an accessible format. While there is
little information as to how these provisions work, some reports suggest
the provisions are largely ignored in practice, because they create very
burdensome obligations on parties, and the non-profit organizations using
the exceptions are seen as responsible entities. There is plenty of
evidence that it will be very costly and difficult to implement the
commercial availability restriction cross-border, because this requires
extensive information and analysis regarding prices of works in various
formats and editions in every geographic export market, and analysis and
evaluation of the interoperability of those formats.

Markus Low is blind and is attending a diplomatic conference for a UN
treaty on copyright exceptions for persons with disabilities, in Marrakesh,
Morocco. In the video, Markus Low who works for the Treatment Access
Campaign in South Africa describes some of the challenges facing the blind
or visually impaired with some "accessible" format that are commercially
available but hard to use.

Manon Ress, Knowledge Ecology International, KEI
manon.ress at keionline.org, tel.: +1 202 332 2670
KEI is a not for profit non governmental organization that searches for
better outcomes, including new solutions, to the management of knowledge
resources. KEI is focused on social justice, particularly for the most
vulnerable populations, including low-income persons and marginalized

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