Library Copyright Alliance calls for treaty to ensure access for reading disabled

Contact: Jenni Terry

Press Officer

ALA Washington Office


For Immediate Release

December 7, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Library Association, as a member of the Library Copyright Right Alliance, filed
comments to the Library of Congress’ Copyright Office Friday regarding facilitating access to copyrighted works for the blind or other persons with disabilities.

The comments, which were filed jointly by the Library Copyright Alliance, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Internet Archive, and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, called for a multilateral treaty to resolve issues of accessibility for the blind and visually impaired.

“A multilateral treaty is needed because other proposals, such as market and voluntary mechanisms, or a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) model law, do not offer a comprehensive solution to the problems that must be addressed and will not deliver the results required to change the current situation,” the comments state.

“The treaty proposal offers a framework that accommodates a range of legal, market, and technological solutions that will enable the world’s blind and visually impaired persons to read and access culture on an equal basis with other members of society.”