Digital Copyright and Disability Discrimination: From Braille Books to Bookshare

Media and Arts Law Review, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2008

16 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2008

See all articles by Nicolas Suzor

Nicolas Suzor

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Paul Harpur

University of Queensland - T.C. Beirne School of Law

Dilan Thampapillai

ANU College of Law

Abstract

In Australia, blind people are able to access texts in braille and books on tape, but the demand for these media is decreasing. Blind people today are increasingly reliant on texts in electronic form, and these are much less readily available in Australia. Electronic texts are more portable and less cumbersome than large braille volumes, and are much faster to navigate than audio recordings. However, in Australia it is difficult for blind people to get access to a wide range of electronic texts and there exists no scheme enabling such access. At the same time sighted people are using electronic text and other digital media at an ever-increasing rate. In order to approximate the same level of access as sighted people, blind people require access to accessible electronic versions of all published material.

The authors suggest that given the legal imperatives of Australia's domestic legislation, treaty obligations and social values, that there exists a moral imperative to create a scheme providing blind people with access to digital print media.

Keywords: digital, copyright, disability discrimination, print disability, disability, discrimination, blind, access, books, technological protection measures, anti-circumvention, screen readers, braille

JEL Classification: K19

Suggested Citation

Suzor, Nicolas and Harpur, Paul David and Thampapillai, Dilan, Digital Copyright and Disability Discrimination: From Braille Books to Bookshare. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1138809

Nicolas Suzor (Contact Author)

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law ( email )

GPO Box 2434
Brisbane, Queensland 4001
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://nic.suzor.net/

Paul David Harpur

University of Queensland - T.C. Beirne School of Law ( email )

Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Dilan Thampapillai

ANU College of Law ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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