AAP Statement on Completion of WIPO Treaty
Washington, DC; June 27, 2013 — The Association of American Publishers released the following statement today regarding the adoption in Marrakech of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Treaty to expand access to published works for individuals who are blind, visually impaired or have other print disabilities:
“AAP applauds the Member States of WIPO, along with advocates for copyright and for the rights of individuals who are blind, visually-impaired or have other print disabilities, for working so hard to finally bring the long process of crafting this Treaty to a successful conclusion. Increasing such individuals' access to published literary and artistic works, while fairly protecting copyright so that authors and publishers continue to have economic incentives to produce and distribute them, has been a complex challenge set on unfamiliar ground. We appreciate the commitment of all participants who labored through the often contentious process that resulted in this Treaty. We believe that the end result reasonably respects copyright, substantially responds to concerns that publishers raised during the long drafting process and significantly reflects our contributions to collective efforts toward resolving those concerns.
“We look forward to working with WIPO Member States and other stakeholders to confirm our mutual understanding of the Treaty and to secure its implementation in a workable manner that achieves its intended purposes. Many carefully-wrought compromises among participants were uniquely necessary and appropriate to resolve key issues in this Treaty and ensure its practical viability across a diverse global range of national economic, technical and political capacities. Publishers hope and expect that some of these textual compromises will not be misunderstood as precedents to be applied in other very distinguishable contexts where they may be neither necessary nor appropriate and thus inconsistent with international norms of copyright. At the same time, of course, publishers will continue their ongoing efforts to employ new technological capabilities to make their commercial products accessible to consumers who are blind, visually-impaired or have other print disabilities so that such individuals, like other consumers who do not have such disabilities, can acquire in the marketplace all manner of published works, covering the full spectrum of human interests, and enjoy them without having to depend upon regulatory measures for their availability.”
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) represents about four hundred member organizations including major commercial, digital learning and education and professional publishers alongside independents, non-profits, university presses and scholarly societies. We represent the industry’s priorities on policy, legislative and regulatory issues regionally, nationally and worldwide. These include the protection of intellectual property rights and worldwide copyright enforcement, digital and new technology issues, funding for education and libraries, tax and trade, censorship and literacy. Find us online at www.publishers.org or on twitter at @AmericanPublish.