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Wednesday, 16th December 2009

Library Associations Applaud U.S. Statement on Copyright Exceptions at WIPO

From the Post:

The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) strongly supports the statement made on December 15, 2009, by Justin Hughes, head of the U.S. delegation at the session of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) in Geneva, Switzerland. Hughes expressed support for library-endorsed international copyright policies during his speech on copyright exceptions and limitations for persons with print disabilities.

Hughes stated that the strength of United States copyright law is in part due to exceptions in the law for education, libraries and the disabled. Hughes said the United States has these exceptions because “access to information, cultural expression, and ideas is essential,” and that governments have a role to play in facilitating access and reducing barriers to information, education and full participation in a democratic society. He continued that the United States is “committed to policies that ensure everyone has a chance to get the information and education they need and to live independently as full citizens in their communities.”

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The Library Copyright Alliance consists of the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). LCA attends the WIPO sessions as a non-governmental organization, and has been pushing for international treaties and other mechanisms to increase access to information, most recently for the visually impaired around the world who have very limited access to reading materials in accessible formats. A significant part of the problem is the legal uncertainty around cross-border sharing of copies. An international treaty to allow cross border sharing is essential to meet the needs of the visually impaired, 90 percent of whom live in developing countries.

Source: LCA (via ALA District Dispatch)


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