SCCR22: Brazilian interventions in favor of a Treaty on exceptions and limitations to copyright for persons with disabilities

Mr Chairman,

It is with much pleasure that Brazil notes that we started this second week of the XXII SCCR with a text on the table that is co-sponsored by Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Ecuador, México, Paraguay, and the United States and that is also supported by the EU.

For Brazil, this text has been always been negotiated with a view to becoming the basis of an international treaty on E&L to copyrights for persons with print disabilities. Brazil is looking forward to further listening to the remarks, suggestions, and criticisms from all Member States, as well as from civil society organizations which are following closely this negotiating process.

This process is now two years old. Time is ripe to take a few more steps towards a truly historic achievement in this UN Organization.

We are indeed in a position to make a significant contribution to mitigate the plight of more than 150 million human beings. These are people who have limited access to education and culture, not because of lack of drive to work hard, not because of lack of thirst of knowledge, not because of lack of aspiration to play their part in the material and cultural welfare of their countries.

For unforeseen circumstances that Science cannot still remedy, they were deprived of the basic right to equal opportunity.

Mr Chairman,

Back in 2009, Brazil decided to table in this Committee a draft treaty on exceptions and limitations on copyrights for the print disabled guided by two assumptions:

(1) The international treaty we are seeking to conclude must be a useful instrument for persons with print disabilities. This is why we tabled a text originally elaborated by the World Blind Union, by people who know best the reality on the ground;

(2) The international copyright regime is a mature system, with more than 120 years of implementation experience in many countries. It is feasible to craft precise and effective E&L norms without depriving the rights of authors to reap the benefits of their creativity. We all recognize those rights and are fully committed to defend them. Let there be no doubt about it.

Those two assumptions remain the guiding principles underlying Brazil’s position.

We are committed to helping bring this negotiating process to a successful outcome. For Brazil, a successful outcome is an international instrument which will be an useful and effective one. An effective instrument which makes clear the firm commitment “on the ground” of all Member States to mitigating the book famine of more than 150 million people world-wide. At the end of the process there must be a treaty. Why shouldn’t we aim for a treaty?

This question should be answered against the broader background of all the themes under discussion in this Committee.

We see emerging consensus gathering around a text on the protection of audiovisual performances. Nobody is questioning that if this consensus prevails, a diplomatic conference should be convened to adopt a treaty on the protection of audiovisual performances.

If we succeed in forging consensus around a text on E&L for persons with print disabilities, we should also in a precise point in time convene a diplomatic conference to adopt a treaty.

We do not see why there should be a substantive difference of treatment between the negotiations on the protection of audiovisual performances and the negotiations on E &L for people with print disabilities.

We see rather a strong ethical case for adopting a treaty on E &L for persons with print disabilities.

Thank you