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Nilofar Ansher



11/23/2011

Addressing the Proposed WIPO International Instrument on Limitations and Exceptions for Persons with Print Disabilities: Recommendation or Mandatory Treaty?

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The Information Society Project at Yale Law School Releases White Paper Addressing the Proposed WIPO International Instrument on Limitations and Exceptions for Persons with Print Disabilities

This Working Paper addresses the proposed WIPO International Instrument on Limitations and Exceptions for Persons with Print Disabilities. The authors conclude that if WIPO wants to achieve compliance, this proposed instrument should be binding hard law. Enacting this agreement as soft law would undermine the goal of making copyrighted works accessible to persons with print disabilities.

Generally, hard law prevents instruments from becoming dead letter agreements. Soft law is a less appropriate solution where there is already consensus and specificity, as there is here. Soft law also creates inefficiencies, as countries try to determine how to satisfy its vaguer aspirations.

In the human rights context, because the UN Convention on Persons with Disabilities has not been implemented domestically, soft law will fail to mobilize domestic actors. Soft law also will not be sufficiently strong to protect the human rights of people with disabilities, traditionally a weaker sector.

In the international copyright context, hard law is necessary because of the complicated web of existing hard law in the field. If WIPO wishes for the proposed instrument to counter hard law established in other forums, it should make the instrument binding. Otherwise, developing countries will not implement the instrument, and WIPO will fail to reach those persons with print disabilities most in need of an international solution.
 
Download the PDF file here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1959694
 
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Related News:
Copyright obstacle for Braille, audio books: India perspective via Centre for Internet & Society, India
 
Related Blog:
WIPO Proposals Would Open Cross-Border Access To Materials For Print Disabled
 
Related Event:
World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights: Twenty-Third Session; November 21, 2011 to December 2, 2011 (Geneva, Switzerland)