An on-line forum to promote an exchange of ideas and to build consensus on international measures to improve access to copyright-protected works in formats suitable for visually impaired persons and others with print disabilities (VIPs) was launched by WIPO this week. The Forum, (www.visionip.org/forum), which will remain open at least until June 20, 2010, is designed to stimulate debate, enhance understanding, and broaden awareness of the question.
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A workshop hosted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) from February 2 to 5, 2010, brought together over 180 persons from some 32 organizations to promote awareness about accessibility for people with disabilities and to encourage webmasters within the United Nations system and other organizations to implement principles of accessibility in their daily work.
WIPO’s top copyright negotiating forum has agreed to move forward with discussions that could lead to better access to copyright-protected works by the blind, visually impaired (VIP) and other reading-disabled persons. The Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), meeting from December 14 to 18, 2009, decided to accelerate the work on copyright exceptions and limitations for the benefit of persons with reading disabilities.
A meeting hosted by WIPO on December 7, 2009 with a number of United Nations (UN) specialized agencies in Geneva concluded with agreement on the need for closer inter-agency collaboration in favor of visually impaired persons (VIPs). During the meeting, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry outlined the Organization’s VIP Initiative, which aims to facilitate and enhance access to literary, artistic and scientific works for the blind, visually impaired and other reading-disable persons and stressed the importance of common activities in this area.
WIPO Director General Francis Gurry met representatives of India’s visually impaired (VIP) community at a conference on the “Right to Read of persons with print disabilities and copyright challenges” organized by the VIP community in cooperation with the Government of India in New Delhi on November 11, 2009, and reaffirmed WIPO’s commitment to supporting international attempts to improve access to copyright protected works by visually impaired persons (VIPs). “Let me assure you that this is a priority area for the World Intellectual Property Organization,” Mr. Gurry said.
WIPO’s top copyright negotiating forum has agreed “to continue without delay” its work on facilitating the access of the blind, visually impaired (VIP) and other reading-disabled persons to copyright-protected works. This subject - as well as broader questions of limitations and exceptions to copyright law as they relate to libraries, archives and educational activities - is at the heart of current work of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR).
WIPO member states meeting under the auspices of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights met from November 3 to 7 November 2008 to review a number of key copyright issues. Under the chairmanship of Mr. Jukka Liedes of Finland, the SCCR examined the current state of play WIPO’s work on limitations and exceptions, the protection of audiovisual performances and the protection of broadcasting organizations. Discussions also featured the question of access to copyright-protected content by visually impaired persons.