Right to Read for Persons with Reading Disabilities

The original proposal for the Marrakesh treaty, including the 2008 report of the drafters, is here.

web page for Marrakesh diplomatic conference


  • NFB petition: The Petition Supporting WIPO Treaty for the Blind and Print Disabled https://nfb.org/civicrm/petition/sign?sid=2
  • ACB petition: Petition Supporting WIPO Treaty for the Blind and Print Disabled https://donate.acb.org/PetitionWIPO
  • White House petition: Side with the blind over obstructionist companies to secure a Treaty for the Blind that makes books accessible globally. https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/side-blind-over-obstructionist-companies-secure-treaty-blind-makes-books-accessible-globally/ZJtgcVph
  • Avaaz Petition: Stand with the blind http://www.avaaz.org/en/treaty_for_the_blind/
  • Sumofus Petition: Disney: Don’t block the treaty for the blind. http://action.sumofus.org/a/disney_viacom_treaty/

Videos from negotiations

For the earlier context on the current negotiations on a WIPO treaty for copyright exceptions for persons who are blind or have other disabilities, first read:
April 2011 report on negotiations for a WIPO copyright treaty for persons who are blind or have other disabilities

See also: Pictures from WIPO SCCR negotiations on disabilities.

Chris Friend. November 4, 2008 SCCR 17 side event
Jace Nair, SANCB, June 17, 2011, at SCCR 22

KEI’s work on reading disabilities involves two separate projects. On a global level, KEI is working with the World Blind Union and others to advocate for a WIPO treaty for persons who are blind or have other reading disabilities.

On a national level, KEI is a member of the United States Reading Rights Coalition, which is concerned about efforts to disable text-to-speech functions in ebook readers, KEI also provides technical assistance to governments and civil society on reading disabilities projects, including the analysis and amendment of national copyright laws.

Update on the WIPO Treaty negotiations

December 17-18, 2012. WIPO Extraordinary General Assembly. Video Interviews, statements and blogs from the December 17-18, 2012 WIPO Extraordinary General Assembly. /node/1629

November 2012. Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights: Twenty-Fourth Session – (SCCR/25). Blogs: /node/1607

July 16 to 25, 2012 Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights: Twenty-Fourth Session – (SCCR/24). Video interviews and Blogs at SCCR24.

November 21 to December 2, 2011. Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights : Twenty-Third Session took place (Geneva, Switzerland). The Working Document on an International Instrument on Limitations and Exceptions For Visually Impaired Persons/Persons with Print Disabilities SCCR/23/7 is available here. KEI Blogs are at SCCR23.

June 2011. SCCR 22. During that meeting a joint “Proposal on an international instrument on limitations and exceptions for persons with print disabilities” was tabled by Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, the European Union and its Member States, Mexico, Norway, Paraguay, the Russian Federation, the United States of America and Uruguay. A copy of that proposal is available here, as SCCR/22/15 REV.1. Commentary from June 2011: The joint proposal was a major breakthrough, because it was proposed jointly by both developed and developing countries, and contained very few differences. There is, however, no agreement on whether this will a treaty or a soft recommendation. The SCCR will meet in November, and could then agree that it has a text that could be the basis of a treaty, or a soft recommendation. The publishers want this to be a soft recommendation. The WBU, KEI and others want it to be a treaty. The conclusions of SCCR 22 can be found here as: Conclusions

Some older news reports

Reports from the June 2011 SCCR 22 meeting

Reports of the EU Parliament support

Parliamentary questions and letters


Earlier, relevant documents included four separate proposals.

  1. http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/doc_details.jsp?doc_id=122732
    Proposal by Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay, Relating to Limitations and Exceptions: Treaty Proposed by the World Blind Union (WBU)
    Document Code SCCR/18/5
    Publication Date May 25, 2009

    Which was elaborated in:
    Background Paper by Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay on a WIPO Treaty for Improved Access for Blind, Visually Impaired and other Reading Disabled Persons
    Document Code SCCR/19/13
    Publication Date Dec 11, 2009

  2. http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/doc_details.jsp?doc_id=134392
    Proposal by the African Group: Draft WIPO Treaty on Exceptions and Limitations for the Disabled, Educational and Research Institutions, Libraries
    Document Code SCCR/20/11
    Publication Date Jun 15, 2010
  3. http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/doc_details.jsp?doc_id=133815
    Proposed by the Delegation of the United States of America: Draft Consensus Instrument
    Document Code SCCR/20/10
    Publication Date Jun 4, 2010
  4. http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/doc_details.jsp?doc_id=134412
    Proposal by the Delegation of the European Union: Draft Joint Recommendation Concerning the Improved Access to Works Protected by Copyright for Persons with a Print Disability
    Document Code SCCR/20/12
    Meeting Code SCCR/20
    Publication Date Jun 17, 2010

Misc stuff