Copyright protections and disability rights : turning the page to a new international paradigm

Harpur, Paul D. & Suzor, Nicolas P. (2013) Copyright protections and disability rights : turning the page to a new international paradigm. University of New South Wales Law Journal, 36(3), pp. 745-778.

View at publisher

Abstract

This paper argues that governments around the world need to take immediate coordinated action to reverse the 'book famine.' There are over 129 million book titles in the world, but persons with print disabilities can obtain less than 7% of these titles in formats that they can read. The situation is most acute in developing countries, where less than 1% of books are accessible. Two recent international developments – the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (‘CRPD’) and the new Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled (somewhat ironically nicknamed the ‘VIP Treaty’) – suggest that nation states are increasingly willing to take action to reverse the book famine. The Marrakesh Treaty promises to level out some of the disparity of access between people in developed and developing nations and remove the need for each jurisdiction to digitise a separate copy of each book. This is a remarkable advance, and suggests the beginnings of a possible paradigm shift in global copyright politicsmade all the more remarkable in the face of heated opposition by global copyright industry representatives. Now that the Marrakesh Treaty has been concluded, however, we argue that a substantial exercise of global political will is required to (a) invest the funds required to digitise existing books; and (b) avert any further harm by ensuring that books published in the future are made accessible upon their release.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

269 since deposited on 03 Oct 2013
62 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 61501
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: copyright, disability rights, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled, Marrakesh Treaty, access, book famine
ISSN: 0313-0096
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Intellectual Property Law (180115)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Deposited On: 03 Oct 2013 02:58
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2014 21:54

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page