Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The Marrakesh Treaty in Action: Exciting Progress in Access to Published Works for the Blind and Print-Disabled Communities; U.S. Copyright Office, February 22, 2021

 , U.S. Copyright Office; The Marrakesh Treaty in Action: Exciting Progress in Access to Published Works for the Blind and Print-Disabled Communities

"The following is a guest blog post by Shira Perlmutter, Register of Copyrights and Director, U.S. Copyright Office

Domestic stakeholders, congressional staff, and the U.S. government all worked collaboratively to implement the treaty obligations into our law. In the 2018 Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act (MTIA), Congress made a few amendments to the scope of the existing exception in section 121 of the Copyright Act, and added a new section 121A. The latter allows nonprofit or governmental entities that serve blind or print-disabled persons—known as “authorized entities”—to import and export accessible format copies for the benefit of those patrons. For more details, the Copyright Office has information on both the treaty and the MTIA posted on our website.

The Marrakesh Treaty has already been a tremendous achievement for the blind and visually impaired communities in the United States. Since it entered into force in May 2019, much has been done, including here at the Library of Congress, to start reaping its benefits. The Library’s National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS), founded in 1931, has long administered a free national library program that provides braille and recorded materials to people who cannot see regular print or handle print materials. U.S. membership in Marrakesh has allowed NLS, as an authorized entity, to make thousands of accessible format works available throughout the world, as well as to import over 1,700 foreign titles in at least 10 languages for its patrons. NLS has developed a number of practices and policies to support its work as an authorized entity under the MTIA.

One of NLS’s partners in leveraging the Marrakesh Treaty to maximize the availability of accessible format works worldwide is the Accessible Books Consortium’s (ABC’s) Global Book Service (GBS), a project under the aegis of WIPO."

Monday, February 8, 2021

Want to Reverse Inequality? Change Intellectual Property Rules.; The Nation, February 8, 2021

 Dean Baker, February 8, 2021; Want to Reverse Inequality? Change Intellectual Property Rules.

Changes in IP have done far more than tax cuts to increase inequality—and US protection of IP could lead to a cold war with China.

"While the Reagan, George W. Bush, and Trump tax cuts all gave more money to the rich, policy changes in other areas, especially intellectual property have done far more to redistribute income upward. In the past four decades, a wide array of changes—under both Democratic and Republican presidents—made patent and copyright protection both longer and stronger."