[A2k] WBU suspends participation in the WIPO Stakeholder Platform and EU Stakeholder Dialogue projects, pending agreement at WIPO on a proper binding legal framework

jamie at keionline.org jamie at keionline.org
Sun Feb 27 11:35:05 PST 2011

Chris Friend wanted to post this important message to the ak2 list.  


(We have been having some problems with our list, so let me know if anyone
has had trouble posting to the list.)



WBU suspends participation in the WIPO Stakeholder Platform and EU
Stakeholder Dialogue projects, pending agreement at WIPO on a proper
binding legal framework.

"Unfortunately, the WIPO TIGAR project is being erroneously portrayed by
some organisations as an alternative to the underpinning legal framework
needed to guarantee equal access to information promised under the UN
convention on the rights of persons with disabilities" says Maryanne
Diamond, President of World Blind Union. "In fact it demonstrates quite the
opposite, and it is now even clearer that a licensing arrangement without
underpinning legal rights gets us nowhere."

"We have engaged in more than two years of patient, resource intensive
dialogue with rights holders, and the result has been proposals for
organisations that serve disabled people to sign legal frameworks that
undermine existing rights and incur costs and liabilities that are
completely unreasonable. This demonstrates that governments of the world
must now stand up and create the clear legal framework needed to deliver
the right of equality of access to published works set out in the
convention. WBU and its member organisations value our dialogue with the
publishing industry which is aimed at helping them develop more inclusive
ways of publishing" says Diamond. "However, at this stage we need to
prioritize their scarce resources on assisting governments to create the
legal framework. Once this is in place we can then re-start the dialogue
with rights holders to make this cost effective for all parties".

"Having considered the proposals, RNIB in the UK, Vision Australia, ONCE in
Spain, CNIB in Canada, the European Blind Union and many other leading
organisations envisaged as supporting the network to share these costly and
specialised publications between countries advise me that they cannot
participate in the network on the proposed basis, and need to concentrate
their limited resources on getting a clear legal framework for
international exchange".


For two years now WBU and other organisations  including RNIB, Vision
Australia, ONCE, CNIB and EBU  have participated fully in negotiations with
rights holder organisations in the WIPO Stakeholder Platform and EU
Stakeholder Dialogues. The World Blind Union aimed to try to agree
worldwide and European licensing régimes to complement a new, binding
international copyright treaty along the lines of the proposal tabled by
Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay at WIPO in 2009. The proposed treaty would
provide a minimum level of legal certainty- whilst respecting copyright- to
ensure we can share accessible format books worldwide where license
agreements do not exist.

After analysis of the proposed terms for the "TIGAR" pilot scheme and these
stakeholder agreements more broadly, we have concluded that the terms would
be too onerous and the cost benefits too unclear. This is so for the larger
organisations in developed countries, and the difficulties in participating
in the complex agreements envisaged under TIGAR would be far greater for
organisations in developing countries. WBU has decided therefore to suspend
its participation in both the WIPO Stakeholder Platform and EU Stakeholder
Dialogue, pending the agreement of an appropriate and binding legal
instrument at WIPO.



Maryanne Diamond
World Blind Union
Tel: +61 3 9864 9261
Mobile: +61 419 312 129
Maryanne.diamond at visionaustralia.org

Chris Friend
Chair, WBU Global Right to Read Campaign
Tel: +44 (0)1444 446663
Mobile: +44 07919 552 170
cfriend at sightsavers.org

Dan Pescod
Vice chair, WBU Global Right to Read Campaign
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7391 2009
       dan.pescod at rnib.org.uk

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