Communication to SCCR delegates regarding the beneficiaries of a new WIPO treaty for copyright exceptions for disabilities

Information note to SCCR delegates on the scope of disabilities in a new WIPO treaty

12 November 2010

The delegates to the SCCR are considering various proposals to deal with expanded access to copyrighted works by persons who are blind or who have other disabilities.

The proposal sponsored by Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico and Paraguay would extend the benefits of the treaty, not only to persons who are blind or visually impaired, but also as follows:

“Contracting Parties shall extend the provisions of this Treaty to persons with any other disability who, due to that disability, need an accessible format of a type that could be made under Article 4 in order to access a copyright work to substantially the same degree as a person without a disability.” (Article 15b)

Article 3(a)(7) of the Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico and Paraguay proposal ensures that: “Contracting Parties agree that the provisions of this Treaty are consistent with . . . the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. . .”

Article 1 of the UNCRPD states:

“The purpose of the present Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.”

“Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”

Ensuring consistency with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities should be important to the SCCR.

More background on this topic here:


Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), India
Corporación Innovarte, Chile
Discapacitados Visuales IAP, Mexico
Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL)
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
European Digital Rights (EDRi)
Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
ONCB – Organização Nacional de Cegos do Brasil
Public Knowledge (PK)
Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD)
The World Care Council (France, India, DRCongo)


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