SCCR20: Statement by Barbados supporting Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay and Mexico proposal for a Treaty for Reading Disabled Persons

On Wednesday, 23 June 2010, Barbados delivered the following intervention giving unequivocal support for the proposal for the Treaty for Reading Disabled Persons tabled by Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay and Mexico. The spirit of Barbados’ intervention is perhaps best encapsulated by this concluding statement:

If we can negotiate a treaty to protect the rights of broadcasting organizations, we can definitely negotiate a treaty to improve access to copyrighted works for persons with print disabilities. If we can negotiate a treaty to protect the rights of audio-visual performers, we can definitely negotiate a treaty to assist the print disabled. If there is one matter on WIPO’s agenda which calls for a treaty, this is it.

WIPO – SCCR – Agenda Item 7, Limitations and Exceptions

Thank you Mr. Chairman,

Barbados welcomes the proposal from Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay and Mexico, for a treaty for improved access for blind, visually impaired and other reading disabled persons, the proposal from the African Group on a draft WIPO Treaty on Exceptions and Limitations for the Disabled, Educational and Research Institutions, Libraries and Archives Centers, the US draft proposal on a consensus instrument and the Draft Joint Recommendation concerning the improved access to works protected by copyright for persons with a print disability. We believe that these proposals contain elements which would be useful in our identification of the most effective provisions which would improve access of the print disabled to copyright protected works.

Barbados is of the view that the issue of improving access of print disabled persons to copyright protected works is of such fundamental importance that we as Member States should use the most effective tool in our WIPO tool kit to achieve this purpose. We therefore support the proposals of GRULAC and the African Group for a treaty as this instrument of all the instruments proposed is the most effective to provide the necessary access.
Barbados wishes to thank the US for the draft Consensus Instrument which we consider as an important first step towards Member States reaching agreement on a treaty intended to improve access of the print disabled to copyright protected works. In particular, we appreciate the US’ statement that the consensus instrument is only the first step. It is only one stage of a two-stage process, a process which could consist of a consensus instrument and a treaty.

My delegation is of the view that a consensus instrument has value in that it could, though not necessarily, provide a more immediate solution to improve access to copyright protected works for the print disabled. The draft proposal on the consensus instrument with appropriate amendments could be acceptable on the understanding that (1) the consensus instrument is to be regarded as a complement, rather than an alternative to a treaty and (2) that the provisions of the consensus instrument would be the basis on which a treaty could be concluded as soon as possible.
Barbados would also like to thank the EU delegation for their draft Joint Recommendation as it contains some elements which could be combined with elements from other proposals to form an immediate short term and an effective long term solution. As is the case with the consensus instrument proposed by the US, our view is that any joint recommendation which may be agreed should be a complement, and not an alternative, to a treaty as the issue before us is one of the most important, if not the most important on the normative agenda of WIPO. If we can negotiate a treaty to protect the rights of broadcasting organizations, we can definitely negotiate a treaty to improve access to copyrighted works for persons with print disabilities. If we can negotiate a treaty to protect the rights of audio-visual performers, we can definitely negotiate a treaty to assist the print disabled. If there is one matter on WIPO’s agenda which calls for a treaty, this is it.

We look forward to substantive discussions on the four proposals as we seek to identify those provisions which could provide an effective solution to the problems of the print disabled in accessing copyrighted works.

Thank you.

thiru's Blogs Add new comment Printer-friendly version Send by email Send by email
CategoriesUncategorized