The one incredibly newsworthy item was Kareem emailed me (during the meeting) a statement he drafted on the topic of the Global Treaty that was discussed in late May at the SCCR event at the World Intellectual Property Organization. I found it very exciting as President Obama's position on this developing issue! The following is the email I received from Kareem Dale in its entirety (and I have his permission to distribute it):
Access to information and ideas is essential for personal and professional growth and full engagement in a democratic society. But engagement can be severely limited when information is not available in accessible formats. We are committed to building a world that no longer puts up unnecessary barriers. We must create and develop policies that ensure everyone has a chance to get the education they need and live independently as full citizens in their communities.
The United States is currently involved in important discussions at the World Intellectual Property Organization regarding ways in which to improve access to copyrighted materials throughout the World, including, specifically, for persons who are blind and visually impaired. The United States Government has long been a leader in producing and facilitating the dissemination of materials accessible to blind and visually impaired persons.
We are committed to furthering international efforts to enhance the access to copyrighted materials. There are many issues affecting accessibility including available resources, technical considerations, practices and market considerations. We support the opportunity to explore these issues further at the international level and to develop ways in which to improve the availability of accessible materials, both at home and in foreign countries. We look forward to discussing a wide range of solutions and proposals at the next meeting of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, including the proposal put forward by Brazil, Ecuador, and Paraguay Relating to Limitations and Exceptions: Treaty Proposed by the World Blind Union.