Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Poisoning the Treaty for the Blind

See this piece by that title in the Huffington Post.  An excerpt:
For years, international negotiations have been moving forward on what many have come to know as the "Treaty for the Blind." The goal of the treaty is to make it possible for people who are blind, or have other print disabilities, to get access to the books they need for education, employment and inclusion in society--no matter where they live. It's something we already do, with great success, in the United States. Early versions of the treaty embodied this principle, and in addition, would ease the international transfer of accessible books for people with disabilities. 
In the end, a good treaty would mean real progress, and allow accessible books to reach millions of disabled people in other countries. Extending our own principles--that should be the United States' negotiating position. 
Now, the progress made is all in jeopardy. Private interests have been hard at work to insert poison pills in the treaty, such as provisions that make the treaty either unpalatable for many countries to sign on to it or too complex to implement. It's a terrible case of private interest trumping the public good.

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