Saturday, June 27, 2009

Canada's Intervention at WIPO SCCR meeting

This is a summary of Canada's intervention at the WIPO SCCR meeting May 25-29, 2008. As can be seen, Canada is more positive about the concept of treaty for the rights of the blind than certain other prominent Group B countries:
The Canadian delegation made two interventions at the meeting, one on access by the visually impaired to copyright works (on May 27) and the other the proposed treaty on broadcasters' rights (on May 28).

The substantive discussion on access by the visually impaired focussed primarily on the Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay draft treaty.

The Canadian intervention on this issue included the following elements:

1) It noted that it would be premature for the Canadian delegation to comment specifically on the Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay draft treaty (given that it was introduced during the meeting).

2) It said that any instrument should allow a variety of mechanisms for the production of accessible copies for domestic purposes, e.g. an exception, a compulsory licence or a conditional exception.

3) It expressed general principles that should feature in any eventual solution. The principles expressed were intended to apply regardless of the type of instrument (i.e. binding or non-binding) which might be adopted.

4) It noted that countries should be allowed to have different types of limitations or exceptions with respect to different types of adapted materials.

(Note: for example, a country might have an exception to produce Braille material but a compulsory licence to produce audiobooks.)

5) It noted that it is not necessary to have a uniform rule in all countries to allow the international exchange of adapted materials.

6) It noted that it would be necessary to discuss the norms which would apply to the exchange of materials among countries which have different limitations or exceptions for the production of adapted material.

(Note: for example the export of an adapted copy made under an exception to a country which used a compulsory licence.)

7) It noted that any instrument should facilitate the international exchange of adapted material.

8) It would be necessary to clarify how the three step test for limitations and exceptions applies to the import and export of material made under a limitation or exception.


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