[Menvi-discuss] NLS, Bookshare and Learning Allie are being threatened by WIPO, if you can buy it, you can't borrow it
Brandon Keith Biggs
brandonkeithbiggs at gmail.com
Mon May 27 14:28:31 EDT 2013
There is a treaty called WIPO that deals with making materials accessible to
blind people globally. If it goes as intended, NLS, Bookshare and Learning
Allie could become Global, rather than just American.
There are a ton of major organization's who are fighting against this treaty
being passed, and they are going for the idea that if you can buy a book,
you can't borrow it. This means, once a book is made available to the
public, blind people won't have access to download it in an accessible
format from a library. This could also potentially threaten major print book
libraries as well.
Please see below for Bookshare's message. Please sine the Whitehouse's
be the best thing since the PC
Brandon Keith Biggs
From: Brandon Keith Biggs
Sent: Monday, May 27, 2013 10:17 AM
To: Sonja Biggs
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] URGENT: Bookshare Needs Your Help
It's not typical for us to send you an email like this, but we
this situation was so important it was necessary.
You may already be aware, but for years negotiations have been
forward on what many have come to call the "Treaty for the Blind
" The goal of the international treaty is to make it possible
people who are blind, or have other print disabilities such as
dyslexia, to get access to the books they need for education,
employment and inclusion in society--no matter where they live.
something we already do, with great success, in the United States
However, private interests are trying to alter the treaty in such
way that it would become useless--even harmful. For example,
trying to get language adopted that basically says: "if you can
it, you can't borrow it." This is not only an attack on people
the world with print disabilities--it's also an attack on
like Bookshare, and could have a drastic effect on the number of
books you have access to.
Our biggest worry is this becoming a treaty that could stop
from serving our users in the United States the way we do today.
need our government negotiating for a treaty that supports a
That's why we're working with a coalition of disability and
groups, including the National Federation of the Blind and the
American Council of the Blind, to fight back against the proposed
changes by these private interests. We'll do everything we can
secure a treaty that both protects the access we have now and
will benefit people with print disabilities around the world--but
need your help.
We're asking you to take a moment to sign a petition on the White
House's website that urges the President to step up his support:
If we can get to 100,000 signatures, the White House is
respond to the petition and will, hopefully, take positive
With your help we know we can reach that number. We also
the petition -
/sid=2&reset=1 at the National Federation of the Blind's site,
Thank you for your time and support. Together, we believe that
collective voice can make a real impact.
If you're interested in more background on the treaty, here are
articles and resources you can review:
Huffington Post piece by Jim on how the treaty is being poisoned
WIRED Magazine article that gives some recent updates on the
Jim Fruchterman & Betsy Beaumon, Bookshare
P.S. Please post the link to the White House petition on your
media to help spread the word and get your friends involved!
here is the link: -
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