‘Copyright cartel attempts to ‘ride roughshod’ over vulnerable groups
By ECM Plus staff
ECM Plus /LONDON/ +++ The Trans-Pacific-Partnership (TPP) is a set of secretive trade negotiations whose IP clauses have much in common with the reviled ACTA and SOPA treaties, accordint to privacy advocacy group the Pirate Party UK.
Andrew Robinson, PPUK’s Culture & Media spokesperson said: “TPP is an attempt to impose a copyright maximalist agenda on its signatories, currently countries like the US, Canada and Australia, but as is the way with these negotations, it will be seen as a model for future worldwide implementation.”
Robinson added that documents leaked this week have caused consternation over the treaty’s treatment of copyright exemptions, including the US ‘fair use’ doctrine.
“The fact that treaty acknowledged such exemptions at all was initially greeted with relief by civil society groups yet the leaked documents proved to be extremely concerning” PPUK’s Robinson added. “If implemented, TPP would place highly restrictive limitations on “fair use” and other copyright exemptions including “format-shifting”, which covers the right to transform a work published in one format (eg a written book) to another (such as audio).”
According to Robinson, ‘Format-shifting’ can be important to anyone who buys music on CD but wants to listen to it on their iPod, but for people who are visually-impaired, it will have a serious impact on quality of life.
“95% of books are never commercially published in audiobook or braille form and the visually-impaired rely on format-shifting exemptions to avail themselves of the culture we all take for granted” Robinson asserted.
“People are calling it ‘a book famine for the blind’. Format-shifting has the potential to improve lives, but as usual the copyright cartel want to ride roughshod over the interests of the public. I believe that clear commitments from all countries to strong exemptions to copyright, whether in the area of accessibility for the disabled, format shifting or fair use are long overdue.”
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