Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Right to Read campaign in India

India has launched a right to read campaign.

The Problem

Nearly 70 million persons in India have some form of disability (visual impairment being the most common) that prevents them from reading printed matter. The good part is that there are technologies available which can help persons with print impairment to read, if the material is converted into an alternate format such as large print, audio, Braille or any electronic format. Unfortunately the Indian law does not permit a person with print impairment to make an accessible copy of a book in order to be able to read it. What this means is that every time a print impaired person wishes to read a book he/she has to get permission from the copyright-holder – a completely unfeasible proposition.

The Solution

To solve this problem the law in question i.e. the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 should be amended to permit persons with print impairment to convert materials into accessible formats.

Campaign Objective

The Right to Read campaign seeks to accelerate change in copyright law, raise public awareness on the issue of access to reading for the print-impaired; and gather Indian support for the Treaty for the Blind proposed by the World Blind Union at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
 Thanks to Christopher Friend of the World Blind Union for the alert via the A2k list.

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