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Category: Accessibility

Could we have a splash of color? Two primary themes of another Dark Gray Suit Meeting on Copyright

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is an agency of the Department of Commerce. So it is no surprise that the USPTO-sponsored public meeting on the Department’s “green paper” (pdf)–“Copyright Policy, Creativity and Innovation in the Digital Economy” was primarily about the market for digital goods. The all-day…

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Intellectual property [sic] – it’s not about property

I really cannot fathom how anyone would say that the blind are thieves when accessible copies of books are not even available for purchase. Dr. Marc Maurer of the National Federation of the Blind and others remind us: people with disabilities do not want to be treated like second class citizens, expecting special handouts and giveaways. They want to purchase books just like everyone else, but accessible books are not available for sale. This is called “market failure.” In this case, authors or their publishers do not want to invest resources to satisfy a small market. It would not be in their economic interest to do so because they would not recoup costs. Market failure is a signal that an exception to copyright is necessary to fairly meet the information needs of the public.

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Who Knew? Print disabled people read!!

ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) submitted comments to the FCC in response to a petition from the E-reader Coalition Petition of Class Waiver of Commission’s rules for Access to Advanced Communications and Services (ACS) for People with Disabilities. The E-reader Coalition–Amazon, Sony and Kobo– assert that their e-readers…

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Miracles of miracles! WIPO passes the treaty for the blind!

In an exciting turnaround, last night the World Intellectual Property Assembly (WIPO) made history by passing the “Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired and Persons with Print Disabilities (the “Treaty for the Blind”). Print disabled people and supporters of the treaty around the world are thrilled by the victory,…

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