Scoping Study on Access to Copyright Protected Works by Persons With Disabilities
World Intellectual Property Organization, SCCR/38/3 March 13, 2019
154 Pages Posted: 13 May 2019
Date Written: March 13, 2019
Many copyrighted works exist in formats inaccessible to individuals with disabilities. This inaccessibility is problematic, as many countries have passed laws that support equal societal participation for individuals with disabilities. Access to copyrighted content for individuals with disabilities generally requires some type of assistive technology that transforms some or all of the content of the work from one medium to another. However, these transformations can implicate the exclusive rights granted to copyright and related rights holders.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and at the University of Colorado Law School’s Samuelson-Glushko Technology Law and Policy Clinic. Researchers augmented the previous scoping study, which involved questionnaires sent to and submitted by member states, with independent research that reviewed and analyzed the copyright regimes of member states and disability provisions within those regimes.
Among other findings, this study discovered that more than half of all member states have some sort of exception for disabilities written into their copyright laws, and that of those members, a third of them provide exceptions for all disabilities.
Keywords: copyright, disability
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