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IFRRO regrets WBU suspension of participation in WIPO and EU Stakeholder discussions

IFRRO regrets the decision by the World Blind Union, announced on 26 February, to suspend its participation in the WIPO and EU Stakeholder discussions, which have shown every prospect of delivering timely solutions for the reading impaired community. IFRRO CEO, Olav Stokkmo, points out that IFRRO supports the right of reading impaired persons to have appropriate access to text and image copyright material and is committed to developing appropriate solutions. We are also on record as having recognised the right of the reading impaired community to seek exceptions and limitations in national legislation.

IFRRO values its dialogue with WBU and the reading impaired community in the TIGAR and EU Stakeholder Dialogues which recently led to the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding. The reading impaired community requested easier access to copyright works and the creators and publishers have responded positively and with alacrity. The exchange of ideas produced the proposal to provide cross-border access in the appropriate formats through the development of a worldwide network of Trusted Intermediaries. IFRRO is strongly committed to the solutions worked out by the stakeholders together and to continuing the dialogue with representatives from the reading impairment communities. It is unfortunate that the WBU chooses this moment to suspend participation and IFRRO hopes that it will reconsider its position in order to ensure a successful culmination of our joint efforts to provide access copyrighted contents to this community.

Notes for Editors

The International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) is an international, independent, not-for-profit organisation representing the interests of collective management organisations and authors and publishers in the field of text and image based works. These organisations are known as Reproduction Rights Organisations (RROs) which administer reproduction and other relevant rights, including certain digital rights, on behalf of both publishers and authors including visual artists.

Active in every continent, it has some 130 members including 55 national and international author, publisher and visual creator associations. IFRRO’s global network of members helps facilitate widespread legal access to published, copyright protected literary, visual and musical works for the public. IFRRO partners international organisations such as WIPO and UNESCO, and regional ones such as ARIPO, OAPI and CERLALC to undertake copyright awareness, capacity building and training activities.  Within Europe, IFRRO cooperates with the EU institutions in developing solutions to facilitate access to copyright work.

Further information
James Boyd, IFRRO Communications and Product Development
Tel: +32 2 551 08 97