[Ip-health] Business Europe seeks to block WIPO treaty on copyright exceptions for persons who are blind or have other disabilities

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Fri May 17 06:00:14 PDT 2013


http://keionline.org/node/1722

Business Europe seeks to block WIPO treaty on copyright exceptions for
persons who are blind or have other disabilities

In a May 14, 2013 letter signed by Markus Beyrer, a Brussels based
corporate lobby group known as Business Europe has sent a letter to
Commissioners Michel Barnier and Karel De Gucht opposing the WIPO
treaty on copyright exceptions for persons who are blind or have other
disabilities. (Copy of the Barnier letter attached here [2]). Business
Europe describes itself as "the main horizontal business organization
at the EU level." It represents 41 national business organizations in
35 European countries, claiming to promote "growth and competitiveness
in Europe." Below is a list of the 55 member companies on its
Corporate Advisory and Support Group, which describes its main
constituency. Many on these companies are also members of the US based
Intellectual Property Owners (IPO) Association, which sent a similar
letter to the USPTO on April 15, 2013. Like the IPO letter, it is
highly likely that General Electric was the primary actor pushing for
the letter.

One of the new elements of the Business Europe letter is the complaint
that the treaty:

"is strongly supported by the same group of NGOs and advanced emerging
economy countries that pursue a general IPR-weakening agenda at WIPO
and other international forums. They would rely on the harmful
precedent set by its hasty conclusion."

Given the fact that the treaty was first proposed at WIPO and UNESCO
in 1985, and the current negotiations began in 2008, the world "hasty"
seems odd.

Business Europe also complains that while the current treaty draft
references the three step test in three separate copyright and trade
agreements, it does not "apply to the entire agreement and to all
signatories."

Really oddly, the letter claims that "many of the eventual signatory
countries do not provide any copyright protection whatsoever." What
countries that would sign the agreement don't have extensive copyright
laws already on the books already?

Business Europe claims a treaty on copyright exceptions for blind
persons would be "casting aside" the "international copyright
infrastructure" and like the IPO, says the treaty "could set a very
harmful precedent affecting broader debates about global IPR rules at
the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),
World Trade Organization (WTO), World Health Organization (WHO), WIPO
and elsewhere."

Basically, the argument is, if you provide some the of exception for
persons on any topic in copyright or patents, the whole global IPR
regime is at risk.

Business Europe's Corporate Advisory and Support Group

ACCENTURE
ADAM OPEL AG
ALCOA
ALSTOM
ARCELOR-MITTAL
AREVA
BASF
BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO
BAYER
BIC
BMW
BOSCH
BP Europe
CATERPILLAR
DAIMLER
DIAGEO
DUPONT DE NEMOURS
ENEL
EXXONMOBIL
FACEBOOK
GDF SUEZ
GENERAL ELECTRIC
HENKEL
HITACHI
HYUNDAI
IBM
KLM
LHOIST
LUKOIL
MICHELIN
MICROSOFT
NBC UNIVERSAL
OMV
ORACLE
PFIZER
PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL
PHILIPS
PROCTER & GAMBLE
RANDSTAD
SCHINDLER
SHELL
SIEMENS
SOLVAY
STATOIL
TCS (Tata Consulting Service)
TELECOM ITALIA
TELEFONICA
THERMO FISHER
TOSHIBA
TOTAL
TOYOTA
UNILEVER
UPS
VEOLIA
VOLKSWAGEN

Source URL: http://keionline.org/node/1722

Links:

[2] http://keionline.org/sites/default/files/BusinessEurope_v_Blind_2013-00525-E.pdf

-- 
James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
http://www.keionline.org, +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile: +1.202.361.3040,
Geneva Mobile: +41.76.413.6584, efax: +1.888.245.3140.
twitter.com/jamie_love




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