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    New Draft WIPO Visually Impaired Treaty Shows Progress, But “Clock Is Ticking”

    Published on 18 October 2012 @ 3:05 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    As a new revised working document on a potential treaty for visually impaired persons was issued this morning at the World Intellectual Property Organization, delegates retreated again into informal consultations for the day to try to advance the text further.

    Meeting Chair Darlington Mwape, the Zambian ambassador, said at the opening of the plenary today that although some progress was made, a lot was left to be achieved, according to sources. He called for countries to focus on the text of the working document and try to solve problems rather than introduce new text.

    Mwape reminded the plenary of the ticking clock before the extraordinary General Assembly, which is to be convened in December to decide on a diplomatic conference in 2013. There are two days left this week, he said, and two days during the next session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) to be held from 19-23 November.

    The WIPO members are meeting from 17-19 October in an intersessional meeting on limitations and exceptions for visually impaired persons and persons with print disabilities. The meeting started on the basis of an earlier “primary” draft document (IPW, WIPO, 17 October 2012).

    The revised working document [pdf] dated 17 October is the result of all day informal consultations yesterday. The preamble paragraphs remain unchanged and include a number of proposals by countries. In Article A, the definition of “works” now has additional brackets, and the description of the form of works (text, notation, and/or related illustrations) remains bracketed.

    The definition of “accessible format copy” was agreed but there is also an alternate definition, which features only the first sentence of the agreed paragraph.

    Still in Article A, the definition of “authorized entity”, which refers to entities providing education-related or information-related services for visually impaired people, has a number of brackets. In particular, there is disagreement around the non-profit status of educational, teaching or other institutions.

    According to both the primary and revised documents, the nature and the scope of obligations are still to be discussed. As it stands now in the texts, the international instrument is described as “international legal instrument/joint recommendation/treaty.” During past sessions of the SCCR, developed countries such as the European Union members or the United States have voiced their preference for a soft instrument rather than a binding one.

    According to a source, some of the worries of the proponents of a legally binding instrument are that if there are too many restrictions to the application of the instrument, it would defy the purpose of such instrument.

    Delegates are stumbling on sticking points which never met consensus in previous meetings, such as the role and definition of authorised entities, the cross-border exchanges of works, and the relationship of a potential instrument with private and other contracts, according to a developing country source.

    Since the intersessional meeting is mostly held in informal discussions, non-governmental organisations are left outside the door. The plenary will reconvene tomorrow at 10, the chair said.

    Catherine Saez may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     


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    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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