A historic treaty set to end the book famine faced by the visually challenged is being opposed by EU members at the 24th meeting of the standing committee for copyright and related rights (SCCR) at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva.
India along with South America, the Caribbean, Australia, Switzerland and Africa is in favour of the Copyright Treaty for the visually impaired, but EU members are opposing it, despite it being voted a legally-binding treaty in February 2012.
The treaty will require countries to make exceptions in their copyright law so that copyright no longer remains an issue in converting books into formats accessible for people with visual disabilities like Braille, audio and other formats. This means organisations can import and export works without seeking the copyright holder’s permission.
Explaining the possible reasons behind the opposition, Dipendra Manocha, president of DAISY Forum of India, said, “It is because of the interests of the publishing lobby. They will oppose any kind of proposed exemption. The European Union is giving more importance to their point of view.”
If negotiations on the treaty are not finalised in the meet which ends on Wednesday then it will not be presented before the general assembly of the WIPO this year.