Turkey’s intervention at SCCR 20 making the case for a WIPO Treaty for Reading Disabled Persons

In this intervention dated 24 June 2010, Turkey (a member of Group B), made the following unequivocal, nuanced statement before the 20th session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) of why a WIPO treaty for reading disabled persons is the most effective global solution to solve the problems of reading disabled persons in accessing protected works.

Thank you Mr. Chairman,

First of all I would like to express my delegation’s satisfaction in seeing you chairing our meetings. We would also like to congratulate the newly elected two vice-chairpersons.

Mr. Chairman,

It is clear now that the access of the persons with print disabilities to copyrighted works is an important issue and there is a need for a practical and efficient solution. We have listened to the presentations of the owners of the proposals before us, as well as the views of the non-governmental organizations. We have also participated in the informal consultations on the matter.

We very much appreciate the efforts of the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay, European Union as well as the African group in preparing the instruments before us. The consensus document of the US as well as the joint recommendation of the EU both deserve our attention with interesting and practical solutions. We also appreciate the understanding of the US delegation that the consensus instrument is a first step towards a more binding solution which is a treaty.

We agree with most of the content of these proposals. But on the other hand the form is important especially when an exception or limitations to copyrights is involved. With this thinking, in approaching this problem, my delegation has used two starting points; the form of the document would play a role in the effectiveness of the document and the implementation process of the document. We have stated before that the form of a “treaty” would be the most effective solution, because it will be binding on the parties and it will be a strong manifestation of WIPO and the member states for finding a solution to the problem of the persons with print disabilities. In this process there are views that treaty making would be time consuming and the effect wont be automatic. We believe content is important, as long as there is will to accept and implement the content nationally the form of a treaty should not change the attitude.

Furthermore Mr. Chairman, if a treaty is adopted, even for the states who have not ratified or signed the treaty, the instrument will be of guidance and will have political effects in the legislation process in the states.

Another argument for the treaty is in the implementation stage. The implementation of a recommendation which has no legal binding effect, is far more vague and complicated at the national level.

Before I finish I would also like to touch upon the procedure for the future in an attempt to reconcile the differences among delegations. The views that there can be a two step process going in the direction of a treaty; first step being a quick resolution with a recommendation of the WIPO General Assemblies, second and final step, conclusion of a treaty. We believe in that case, to meet the concerns of some delegations, it can be provided in the text of a recommendation that there is agreement among the states that there will be a treaty on the subject.

We hope that all the member states can come together and find a solution to the problem faced by our nationals, as well the nationals of other countries in a realistic manner.

Thank you Mr. Chairman

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