Friday, June 17, 2011

Intellectual Property, Disability Rights And Fair Use Exceptions

Fair use exemptions are very important part of intellectual property rights (IPRs). These fair use exemptions keep the commercial exploitation of IPRs just and humane. Basically, these exemptions maintain a balance between commercial interests and societal interests so that interest of neither the IPRs holder nor the society is jeoparidised.

In a welcome step, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is conducting a very landmark meeting these days. WIPO’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights is holding its Twenty-Second Session from June 15, 2011 to June 24, 2011 at Geneva, Switzerland.

The meeting would discuss many crucial issues pertaining to copyright and related rights. For example, issues like protection of audiovisual performances, protection of broadcasting organisations, copyright limitations and exceptions for the visually impaired persons and other persons with print disabilities, exceptions and limitations for the persons with disabilities, educational and research institutions, libraries and archives, etc would be discussed at the meeting. This session would also prepare the background drafts for various international treaties on the abovementioned issues.

This is a landmark session for the WIPO’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights. The Copyright Laws around the World must be more “receptive and liberal” towards the demands and requirements of differently abled people. By considering suggestions of “fair use exemptions” in favour of differently abled people, WIPO is moving in the right direction and Perry4Law welcomes this initiative of WIPO.

Indian IPRs in general and Indian Copyright Act, 1957 in particular must also be amended suitably so as to create more liberal and extensive fair use exceptions in favour of differently abled people.

Further, provisions must also be incorporated in the IPRs laws of India so that access to libraries, national archives, documentaries, etc is readily available to them. The IPR laws of India must be suitable amended in this regard as soon as possible.