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Blind advocates: Hollywood lobbying threatens deal for accessible books

Disputes between blind groups and content companies could kill copyright treaty.  

From arstechnica (

by Timothy B. Lee - May 10 2013, 8:04am CDT

Exerpt of article:

"For the last several years, negotiators at the World Intellectual Property Organization have been working on a copyright treaty that would make it easier for blind people to get accessible versions of books, like well-annotated audio books or large-print editions. But aggressive lobbying by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and other US copyright interests threatens to derail the negotiations, according to several advocates for the blind who spoke to Ars.

"The main sticking point has been whether to try to use the treaty as a vehicle for enhancing copyright protections or whether the treaty should remain clearly focused on carving out an exception to allow works to be produced in accessible formats for the blind," said Frederic Schroeder, a blind academic who has represented the National Federation of the Blind at recent negotiations. "We don't want this treaty to result in weaker copyright protection or strengthened copyright protection," he said. The blind community just wants easier access to books."
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