I don’t know if we have a pad for this, but I thought I’d write a summary and hope it adds value. The deadline is end of this month so we have to do anything we can (maybe ask for an extension?).
The treaty is about making accessible format books for people with a disability (blindness, visual impairment, and or other print disability). Importantly for us, this includes non-commercial electronic sharing of files without seeking permission from rights holders (but only to people with a print disability).
Right now, certain organisations can create sound recordings, braille, large print, electronic and photographic versions of works. People using these works must have a print disability or it doesn’t count, and they get exceptions.
This has problems, notably:
- The current legislation is verbose and scary. It makes it hard for an organisation to create an accessible work.
- The “special organisations” have to do a bunch of work to be recognised.
- The ALRC identified many of these and other issues.
There are three options for how to change the law:
- Minor amendment. Unsure what this even changes. Seems to lock things down even further. Probably not the option we want.
- Moderate amendment. This expands what can be reproduced and communicated, and simplifies the obligations of the organisations. Clearly, this is better than 1, but not as good as…
- Flexible amendment: A whole new fair dealing provision as recommended by the ALRC. Obviously, this is the one we want.
- Fair dealing goes further than just print disability, and can cover all disabilities and potentially a good chunk of the laws we want.
- Technological Protection Measures (TPM aka DRM) is OK to circumvent for people with a print disability. They should add similar circumvention laws to for fair dealing.
We should address:
- Which option is best for us
- Do we need to think about the statutory license for the Marrakesh treaty (yes, because in practise this is way too onerous to do)
- Should the department issue guidelines (this is probably weasel wording considering the guidelines are probably worthless in a legal sense)
- Would any of the options be extra good / bad (options 1 and 2 will be bad, and 3 will be good)