U.S. Fair Use and the Chafee Amendment: How Do They Overlap?

The WIPO diplomatic conference to negotiate a treaty for persons who are visually impaired is slated for 17-28 June 2013 in Marrakech, Morocco. In the context of these negotiations, there have been several discussions regarding the fair use tradition in the United States and whether references to it are important to the treaty. An analysis comparing the fair use tradition with the specific limitation provided for by the Chafee Amendment that permits the creation and distribution of accessible format copies of works is available for download here. The analysis illustrates why both are fair use and the Chafee Amendment are needed for persons who are visually impaired as well as those serving such communities. While the Chafee Amendment benefits persons who are visually impaired, there are areas that are restrictive and fair use therefore remains an important tool.

Attached below is the analysis in both PDF and Word formats. Additionally, there is an attachment of the 2004 memo of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), written by Allan Adler and Liz Delfs, which lays out the AAP’s interpretation of the Chafee Amendment.