The National Federation of the Blind and the Motion Picture
Association of America released a joint statement on Thursday in support of a
World International Property Organization Visually-Impaired Person Treaty (WIPO
VIPT) free of "extraneous agendas."
The treaty would create exceptions to copyright law to allow
more published works to be accessible to the blind and shared across
NFP and MPAA said that it should be up to the individual
signatories to interpret how they will implement the treaty "in accordance
with their legal and administrative traditions."
They called on treaty negotiators to ensure the four
"Support a legally-binding access Treaty which will
allow more published works to be converted into accessible formats
used by the blind and print disabled.
"Allow those accessible copies to be shared across international
"Take account of countries' level of development, in line with existing
"Ensure that the treaty will be fully consistent with international
"Avoid addressing extraneous copyright issues not directly related to
creating greater access to published works for the blind and print
WIPO is looking to adopt the treaty at a diplomatic
conference in Marrakesh June 17-28.
an email warning before the announcement, Public Knowledge accused MPAA of
working to weaken or block adoption of the treaty.
But MPAA chairman Chris Dodd said it was others trying to
weaken it by. "Other people are trying to water it down by all of a sudden
creating a whole bunch of issues that have nothing to do with the matter at
Dodd said it was a great vehicle for others to start to
drive a truck through by creating further exceptions to copyright law. Dodd
said the treaty can get done while still respecting the long-standing
principles of intellectual property.
For Dodd, the issue is not an academic one. His
older sister was born blind, Dodd told B&C.
"I have a personal interest in the subject matter," he said, as well as a
history with the NFB, "so it was a natural fit."