U.S. issues positive statement at W.I.P.O.

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: Inan interview with D.N.I.S.in one of its previous issues, Dr. Francis Gurry, Director General,World International Property Organization (W.I.P.O.) had said, “UnitedStates is not opposed to the idea (The Treaty for the Blind, VisuallyImpaired and Other Reading Disabled Persons, as proposed by the WorldBlind Union) but needs more time to get comfortable with it.”

Close on this comment, and in what canbe seen as a significantshift from its past position, the United States has expressed itswillingness to consider a treaty on limitations and exceptions tocopyright for the benefit of visually impaired people and other readingdisabled persons. Even though it has not supported the treaty outright,nevertheless, their statement can be seen as a major and positiveadvance in its policy position.

Visually impaired persons world overface an acute shortage ofprinted material. Presently the copyright law of many countriesrestricts them from accessing works under copyright. Only 5 percent ofall printed material is available in accessible formats to blindpersons. This percentage too is for developed countries. The situationgets worse in developing countries. The percentage in India forinstance is a miniscule 0.5 percent!



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