Discrimination, Copyright and Equality: Opening the E-book for the Print Disabled (2017)

Posted: 1 Jun 2017

See all articles by Paul Harpur

Paul Harpur

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

Date Written: May 30, 2017


This monograph contributes to disability rights scholarship and legal advocacy. It analyses the interaction between anti-discrimination and copyright laws, in the international human rights and copyright jurisdictions, as well as in the national jurisdictions in Australia, Canada, the UK and USA. This work builds on international and domestic notions of digital equality and rights to access information. The core thesis of this monograph is that technology now creates the possibility that everyone in the world, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, should be able to access the written word. Why then is there still a book famine where 5% to 7% of the world’s books are available to people with print disabilities in wealthy, advanced economies, and less than 1% in the majority of countries? While anti-discrimination and equality laws operate to enable access, these laws have limited impact on the overriding impact of market forces and copyright laws that focus on restricting access to information. For decades the print disabled have been denied reading equality and have instead had their access to information limited by legal frameworks and resource allocations that tolerated minor exceptions to the mainstream consumption of books and information. The recent United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (‘CRPD’), and other international developments, have swept in a new disability politics which is altering what is expected from laws and institutions. The human rights paradigm has created the possibility of achieving equality. The challenge is to analyse barriers to this dream of reading equality and craft laws and institutions that open the E-Book for the world’s print disabled. (2017) Cambridge University Press.

Suggested Citation

Harpur, Paul David, Discrimination, Copyright and Equality: Opening the E-book for the Print Disabled (2017) (May 30, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2977629

Paul David Harpur (Contact Author)

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

Brisbane, Queensland 4072

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics