[A2k] KEI statement on Senate Ratification of Marrakesh Treaty for Blind | Knowledge Ecology International

James Love james.love at keionline.org
Fri Jun 29 04:51:44 PDT 2018


​This was a big win.  Jamie​


​
https://www.keionline.org/28242

“The United States played a key role in initially supporting, but later
blocking, and finally supporting the treaty. During five years of
contentious negotiations on the treaty text, there were many who opposed
the treaty, and its prospects were uncertain, to say the least. But the
determination of blind persons around the world, and the compelling need
for a global cross border framework for exceptions prevailed. There were a
large number of persons who worked very hard to get the treaty, and later
work toward its ratification, and the support of the Open Society
Foundation was instrumental at every moment. The fact that the treaty was
approved unanimously by the U.S. Senate, and that ratification was
supported by both President Obama and President Trump, and in the end,
every publisher group, illustrates the deep legitimacy of this instrument,
and the skill of the negotiators and in particular, the treaty advocates.
It’s hard to find anyone who will admit trying to block the treaty earlier,
but in fact, this was a contentious and very difficult negotiation. Now,
the collections of accessible works located in the United States will be
available to persons who are blind in other countries, including the
developing world where access is often severely lacking. Blind persons in
the United States will also have access to more works in English, but also
in foreign languages, which are important to many U.S. blind persons, for
both professional and personal uses. This is one example of how
globalization can work for people that will shine for years.”


....


KEI statement on Senate Ratification of Marrakesh Treaty for
Blind»Knowledge Ecology International

KEI statement on Senate Ratification of Marrakesh Treaty for Blind

Posted on June 29, 2018 by James Love

On June 28, 2018, the U.S. Senate provided the necessary advice and consent
for ratification of the WIPO Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to
Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise
Print Disabled.

The United States was the 40th country to ratify the treaty. Another 54
countries have signed but not yet ratified. The U.S. ratification comes
five years to the day after the treaty was concluded in Marrakesh, Morocco,
and 10 years after a group of experts met in KEI’s Washington, DC offices
to write the first draft of the treaty.

The National Federation of the Blind, which lobbied hard for ratification
of the treaty, has a statement here.

KEI’s statement on Senate approval of the treaty is as follows:

“The United States played a key role in initially supporting, but later
blocking, and finally supporting the treaty. During five years of
contentious negotiations on the treaty text, there were many who opposed
the treaty, and its prospects were uncertain, to say the least. But the
determination of blind persons around the world, and the compelling need
for a global cross border framework for exceptions prevailed. There were a
large number of persons who worked very hard to get the treaty, and later
work toward its ratification, and the support of the Open Society
Foundation was instrumental at every moment. The fact that the treaty was
approved unanimously by the U.S. Senate, and that ratification was
supported by both President Obama and President Trump, and in the end,
every publisher group, illustrates the deep legitimacy of this instrument,
and the skill of the negotiators and in particular, the treaty advocates.
It’s hard to find anyone who will admit trying to block the treaty earlier,
but in fact, this was a contentious and very difficult negotiation. Now,
the collections of accessible works located in the United States will be
available to persons who are blind in other countries, including the
developing world where access is often severely lacking. Blind persons in
the United States will also have access to more works in English, but also
in foreign languages, which are important to many U.S. blind persons, for
both professional and personal uses. This is one example of how
globalization can work for people that will shine for years.”

As noted in our statement, the Marrakesh treaty was initially
controversial, opposed by publishers, the motion picture industry, and a
diverse set of business lobbies, led by aggressive opposition from General
Electric, Exxon, Caterpillar, and other large firms. We have many links
about the negotiations here: https://www.keionline.org/r2r, and KEI
recorded more than 200 video interviews during the talks, available here:
https://www.youtube.com/user/KEIWashDC/videos

The corporate lobbies opposing the treaty sought to block the unwanted
precedent of an intellectual property rights treaty that would mandate
exceptions, and a treaty that would explicitly protect the human rights of
readers. The United States, under President Obama, was the last country to
accept a diplomatic conference, and spent the first half of the diplomatic
conference trying to block the negotiations, only to relent after the
Washington Post published a full page article detailing the motion picture
industry lobbying against the treaty.

The Marrakesh treaty sought to solve two problems — 1. The lack of robust
copyright exceptions for persons who were blind or had other reading
disabilities, and 2. The cross border use of the exceptions, so that works
made accessible in one country can be made available to persons with a
disability in another country. The treaty mandated minimum exceptions, and
ensured that the exceptions would be use cross border, to vastly enhance
access to works for persons who were blind or have other disabilities,
around the world.

The treaty excluded persons who were deaf as beneficiaries, in response to
demands from the Obama Administration and USPTO negotiator Justin Hughes,
who was working closely with the MPAA.

KEI worked closely with the World Blind Union and other blind groups around
the world to propose and then advocate for and influence the content of the
treaty.

The work on the treaty came initially out of a collaboration between the
WBU and KEI. KEI’s work was led by Dr. Manon Ress. KEI and the WBU convened
a meeting of experts in Washington, DC on July 24-25, 2008, where an
initial draft, prepared by KEI, was discussed and substantially modified by
the experts. KEI edited the second draft, which was presented to WIPO
delegates by Chris Friend of the WBU,in the fall of 2008. That draft was
later introduced, verbatim as, SCCR/18/5, titled “Proposal by Brazil,
Ecuador and Paraguay, Relating to Limitations and Exceptions: Treaty
Proposed by the World Blind Union (WBU)”,

The report from the 2008 experts meeting is available here.

http://www.keionline.org/misc-docs/tvi/meeting_report.html

The members of the 2008 experts group included the following persons:

Christopher E.B. Friend, MBE FInstF, Chair, WBU Copyright and Right to Read
Working Group, Expert Resource Person, IFLA Copyright Committee;
Judith Sullivan, formerly with the UK Intellectual Property Office, Current
Consultant, Copyright and Government Affairs.
Vera Franz, OSI;
James Love, Director Knowledge Ecology International, Director
Jim Fruchterman, President and CEO Benetech
George Kerscher, DAISY Consortium
Winston Tabb, International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA)
Douglas Newcomb, Chief Policy Officer, Special Libraries Association (SLA)
Carrie Russell Copyright Specialist, Office for Information Technology
Policy American Library Association (ALA)
Lori Driscoll, International Copyright Advocate, Library Copyright
Alliance, University of Florida
James Gashel, Vice President of Business Development, K-NFB Reading
Technology, Inc.
Prof. Ruth Okediji, Minnesota University Law School
Manon Ress, Knowledge Ecology International, Head of Information Society
Programs
Luis Villaroel-Villalon, Vice Chair of the WIPO SCCR and Chile’s Delegate;
Marisella Ouma, Kenya Copyright Board and Kenya’s Delegate at WIPO;
Rahul Cherian Jacob, Copyright Attorney in India,
Malini Aisola, KEI
Margaret Williams, CNIB Library for the Blind
Judit Sanjuan Rius, KEI Attorney.




-- 
James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
http://www.keionline.org/donate.html
KEI DC tel: +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile: +1.202.361.3040, Geneva Mobile:
+41.76.413.6584, twitter.com/jamie_love


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