WIPO Draft On Visually Impaired Shows Breakthrough; A-V Treaty Negotiation Under DiscussionPublished on 17 December 2009 @ 3:38 pm
By Kaitlin Mara, Intellectual Property Watch
Draft chair’s conclusions out today show the World Intellectual Property Organization is poised to make paradigm-shifting breakthroughs to expand access to reading materials for the visually impaired. WIPO members this week also are considering the possibility of high-level negotiations on a new treaty for the protection of audiovisual performances.
The WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights is meeting from 14-18 December. The chair’s draft conclusions from early today are available here [pdf].
The copyright committee is meeting amidst increasingly broad-based support for a start to negotiations on an international instrument on limitations and exceptions to aid people who are visually impaired in accessing copyrighted work. If an agreement is found to proceed, some delegates say this could be a paradigm-shifting moment in the way copyright law is discussed at WIPO. Governments will submit comments to the draft conclusions this afternoon, and there are indications that working out details could take some discussion.
Another potential breakthrough is the increasing support for a diplomatic conference on a possible treaty on audiovisual performances – a significant step forward on an issue that has not moved in years. A diplomatic conference on the matter broke down in 2000, and this would be the first attempt to convene another since then (IPW, WIPO, 9 September 2009).
The draft conclusions say the next SCCR will discuss the possibility of making a recommendation to WIPO’s decision-making General Assembly that a diplomatic conference to conclude the treaty be held.
Kaitlin Mara may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.