[Ip-health] UK IPO office releases emails that show close collaboration with publishers on WIPO treaty for the blind | Knowledge Ecology International

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Sat May 11 15:34:22 PDT 2013


UK IPO office releases emails that show close collaboration with
publishers on WIPO treaty for the blind

On May 10, 2013, a very revealing freedom of information request was
made available from the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO). The
request had been filed on April 14, 2013 by the journalist Glyn Moody,

Emails, letters and any other written communications from the last six
months, between the Publishers Association or representatives of UK
publishers, and the Intellectual Property Office, on the subject of
the WIPO treaty for the blind (formally, the "Treaty to facilitate
Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons
with Print Disabilities".)

On May 10, 2012 the IPO released 28 pages of partly redacted
correspondence. (available here [2]) Unfortunately, the document
itself is not accessible for persons who are visually impaired.The
original request and the IPO justification for the redactions are
available here:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/wipo_treaty_for_the_blind [3]

What do the emails show?

In one case, the publishers asked to recommend a person with "outside
expertise" for the UK delegation to WIPO.

In another exchange, the publishers share a link to an article by
Professor Ruth Okediji, a negotiator for Nigeria, explaining why they
object to references to fair use in the treaty text.

The publishers pushed the UK delegation repeatedly to fight for a
restriction for exceptions in cases where there is "commercial
availability" of works, in one case highlighting the text in the new
Canada law.

One of the IPO documents has the heading "Why WIPO Should Not
Introduce Fair Use Into the Instrument for Print Disabilities."
Another is subtitled, "How commercial availability can work for all."

Overall, the emails deal extensively with publisher opposition to fair
use, and promotion of commercial availability and requests that the
treaty include restrictive three-step test language (even while
asserting that other treaties and agreements already mandate the three
step test for all copyright exceptions). The emails also demonstrate
the close cooperation and communication between the IPO and the
publishers in the negotiations.

The exchanges would have been more revealing if the IPO had not
redacted the names and titles of the individuals receiving and sending
the emails.

Source URL: http://keionline.org/node/1719
[2] http://keionline.org/sites/default/files/RedactedPAemails.pdf
[3] https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/wipo_treaty_for_the_blind

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