Intellectual Property: Commissioner Michel Barnier determined to ensure equal access to books for visually impaired persons


Welcoming the outcome of the negotiations concluded last night at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to facilitate access to books by visually impaired persons, Commissioner Barnier stated: “Our objective is to ensure that visually impaired people can access books as easily as other people. This means making books accessible to them at the same time and at the same price”.

The Commissioner in charge of the Internal Market added: “I am fully committed to fighting against the unjustified discrimination of visually impaired people but the Commission cannot effectively defend such an approach without a negotiating mandate to do so from the Council of Member State Governments. The Commission has requested such a mandate at my initiative and I will seize the opportunity of my political contacts with the EU Member States to plead in favour of a binding international treaty.”

He continued: “I welcome the conclusions reached at WIPO last night and the clear commitment of the parties to work towards an international treaty creating a copyright exception for the benefit of the visually impaired. I urge all parties to negotiate rapidly so that a Diplomatic Conference can be convened in 2013.” Here to read more.

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