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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.

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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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    Closed Discussions At WIPO On Treaty For Blind, As New Text Emerges

    Published on 19 February 2013 @ 3:38 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    Delegates at the World Intellectual Property Organization working to clean the text of a potential treaty facilitating access to books for visually impaired people produced a new version this morning.

    A special session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) is taking place from 18-22 February. Governments are trying to bridge gaps before a high-level meeting in June to possibly adopt an instrument/treaty providing copyright limitations and exceptions for the benefit of visually impaired people.

    The new text [pdf] “on an international instrument/treaty on limitations and exceptions for visually impaired persons/persons with print disabilities” was issued today and modifications to the original text [pdf], in the form of footnotes, presented in plenary session by the WIPO secretariat.

    In Article C, “National law limitations and exceptions on accessible format copies,” footnotes have been added. Footnote 4 stating, “the wording of this reference should be technically improved,” refers to the WIPO Copyright Treaty as mentioned in paragraph A of Article C on exception or limitation to the right of reproduction, the right of distribution, and the right of making available to the public as defined in the “WIPO Copyright Treaty.”

    Footnote 5 says that “Nigeria and Switzerland will propose an Agreed Statement to address the concepts of providing a right of translation within national territories and/or when languages are identified as official languages in national constitutions.” The issue of translation is of particular importance for developing countries, according to developing country sources.

    Footnote 6 reads: “Drafting group [Singapore/African Group/EU/India/US] to work with the following proposal discussed on February 18: A Member State/Contracting Party may confine limitations or exceptions [in its national law that fulfill its obligations under this Article to published works which, in the particular accessible format, cannot be obtained commercially under reasonable terms for beneficiary persons in that Member State's market." Some of the footnote is bracketed in the text, not reproduced above for easier reading.

    This touches upon the issue of commercial availability, which has been a line of divide between developed and developing countries.

    In Article D, "Cross-border exchange of accessible format copies" - which is one of the reasons the treaty was first considered - two footnotes were also added but with the understanding that if no agreement could be found before the end of the session on Friday 22 February, they would be deleted.

    Footnote 7 deals with the right of authorised entities to distribute or make available accessible format copies to a beneficiary person in another member state without the authorisation of the right holder. Footnote 8 describes a process to determine the availability of accessible format copies in the importing member states.

    In Article E, "Importation of accessible format copies," a footnote was also added with the same conditions that if no agreement is found by the end of the session, it would be deleted. Footnote 12 also pertains to the commercial availability, and is presented as an alternative to the commercial availability clause in Article D.

    Transparency For Observers, No External Communications Allowed

    Following the requests of non-governmental organisations, observers to the SCCR special session, member states agreed that a live audio feed of the closed discussions taking place with regional coordinators and a small number of country delegates in a smaller room be broadcast in the plenary room.

    But the agreement was accompanied by a strict ban on communications to the public. Vice-Chair Alexandra Grazioli from Switzerland said the same rules would be adopted as in the last session of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC), which took place from 4-8 February. Both committees have entered drafting discussions with sensitive issues.

    As during the IGC, NGOs and delegates were warned against reporting on the informal discussions, in particular relaying information on the internet, as this would jeopardise the work of delegates trying to find compromise, and "creative" and "constructive" solutions, she said.

    In a stern statement, Grazioli said "We ask that the integrity and informality of the negotiations be respected and maintained." The audio feed is provided in the interest of transparency, however, "all persons are requested not to communicate to the public," on the content and nature of the discussions taking place in the smaller groups "whether by general terms or by way of quoting specific individuals or delegations."

    "This includes tweeting, blog posts, news stories and email listservs," she said, adding that "in the event that this request is not observed we reserve the right to seek the SCCR's consent to take such action that may be necessary to preserve the integrity of the process." So it could be decided to stop the audio feed to the plenary room, she said.

    World Blind Union Asking Limits on Proliferation of Clauses

    A World Blind Union representative wished to remind delegates that visually impaired and print-disabled people "really do need a very clear, simple and effective text in this treaty so as to serve the people this treaty is about."

    "When we see a proliferation of clauses on things like commercial availability" he said, "we try and think on how that would work in practice.... [W]e have great concerns and we do not feel that those clauses help achieve the aim to ensure that a greater number of books and information are available to print disabled and blind people.”

    He asked delegates to “allow an element of trust and flexibility when it comes to the implementation of this treaty so that it really works on the ground.”

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

     

    Comments

    1. WIPO Blind Treaty Text Shapes Up On Last Day; More Drafting In April | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      [...] new text [pdf] follows two updated versions of the original text [pdf] ((IPW, WIPO, 19 February 2013, and IPW, WIPO, 21 February 2013) in which main changes were mostly the addition of [...]


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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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