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NISO Webinar: Back from Marrakesh: Implementing an Accessible Content World


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About the Webinar …

About the Webinar
In June of 2013, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) agreed to a landmark treaty in Marrakesh, Morocco to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. This treaty outlined for the first time a set of principles regarding the rights of the print-disabled to have all content made equally accessible for them. The opportunities afforded by digital content distribution to provide accessibility functionality built-in from the start of a publisher’s production process and then be carried throughout the distribution process are tremendous.

This session will provide an overview of the treaty, discuss its potential implications, and describe how standardized technology can facilitate access to the visually-impaired community.


Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, NISO

Setting the Standards: Identifying Rights for Print-disabled and Visually Impaired
George Kerscher, Secretary General DAISY Consortium, and President, International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF)

Making History in Marrakesh: How the Blind Led Everyone Else
Thiru Balasubramaniam, Geneva Representative, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)

Walking the Walk: A Publisher’s Perspective on Moving from Aspiration to Reality in Making Content Accessible
Paul Belfanti, Director, Content Architecture, Enterprise Architecture & Core Platforms, Pearson Education

Published in: Education

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  • 1. NISO Webinar: Back from Marrakesh: Implementing an Accessible Content World April 9, 2014 Speakers: George Kerscher, Secretary General DAISY Consortium, and President, International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) Thiru Balasubramaniam, Geneva Representative, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) Paul Belfanti, Director, Content Architecture, Enterprise Architecture & Core Platforms, Pearson Education
  • 2. Creating the Best Way to Read and Publish Setting the Standards: Identifying Rights for Print- Disabled and Visually Impaired George Kerscher
  • 3. Creating the Best Way to Read and Publish The Analog World and Libraries Serving Persons Who are Blind • 4 - track half speed cassettes in North America • 2 - track normal and half speed • 4 - track normal speed • Six track • End of analog predicted in early 1980s • Cross-border exchange common
  • 4. Creating the Best Way to Read and Publish DAISY Consortium is Born - Formed in 1996 - Goal: To develop the next generation of technology - Focused on user requirements - Structural navigation: Chapter, section, subsection, etc. -- Go to page -- Spell words -- Search - Requirements point to text and audio synchronization
  • 5. Creating the Best Way to Read and Publish W3C, HTML and SMIL - Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) W3C recommendation in 1999 - DAISY 2.02 published in 1999 - Started NISO developments in circa 1999 - DAISY 3 NISO 39.86 Specification for the Digital Talking Book, 2002
  • 6. Creating the Best Way to Read and Publish Worldwide Adoption of DAISY What Does This Mean? - In 2000 in the USA, cross-border exchange stops - Digital was deemed different - Outcry from Canada, students could not get their textbooks any more - While there was not much available, the small supply was stopped - Outcry around the world
  • 7. Creating the Best Way to Read and Publish Heat is turned up in WIPO - Standards in place worldwide - WBU starts the Right to Read Campaign - Accessible book famine is identified
  • 8. Creating the Best Way to Read and Publish IDPF Formed in 1999 (Originally OeBF) - Disability community involved from the beginning - OeB 1.0 released in 2000 - DRM locked out accessibility - “Sound Proof Book” published by Fruchterman and Kerscher in 2002 - Chant: “Same book, same time, same price”
  • 9. Creating the Best Way to Read and Publish EPUB 3, Target for Future DAISY Specifications - One standard is better than two - Accessibility features woven into EPUB 3 - EPUB 3 released in October 2012 - EPUB 3 endorsed by DAISY Consortium
  • 10. Creating the Best Way to Read and Publish Issues Arising from Marrakesh Treaty June 2013 - Must be ratified by countries to take effect - Hundreds of thousands of EPUB titles commercially available today - NLS in the USA has more than 3,600 patrons over the age of 100 (number changes daily) -- Technical expertise of end users is a limitation - Enhancements of titles will be needed: -- Image descriptions beyond alt text -- Tactile graphics -- 3D printing of models -- Human narration - Simple distribution mechanisms
  • 11. Creating the Best Way to Read and Publish More Work to Be Done to Create an Inclusive Publishing Ecosystem Thank you!
  • 12. The Marrakesh treaty for blind negotiations Thiru Balasubramaniam, KEI 9 April 2014 NISO Webinar
  • 13. Nature of the problem Often difficult, impractical or impossible to get permissions to make works accessible No or inadequate exceptions for persons who are blind or have other disabilities in many (mostly developing) countries Very limited cross border trade in accessible works, leading to wasteful duplication, and astonishing disparities in access.
  • 14. In July 2008, KEI and WBU co-convened meeting of experts in Washington DC, to write a draft treaty text The WBU draft treaty text was circulated to WIPO delegates in fall of 2008, and introduced as a formal proposal by Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay in the Spring of 2009. WIPO “Group B” countries were in opposition to the treaty, and advocated voluntary measures
  • 15. Obama White House warmed to treaty in 2009, but later worked with publishers to tried to block a binding agreement Susan Crawford, Kareem Dale and Andrew McLaughlin in the White House and Arti Rai at USPTO supported the treaty. After Crawford and Rai left the administration, the Obama Administration moved into opposition. In 2011, the Obama Administration proposed a non-treaty outcome, and asked that deaf people be removed as beneficiaries. The USA was the last country on earth to agree to a diplomatic conference for a treaty, in December of 2012. Before agreeing to a diplomatic conference, the Obama Administration demanded that audio visual works be excluded from the treaty.
  • 16. European Parliament changed EU position on the treaty The European Blind Union and TACD were very successful in engaging the European Parliament on the treaty negotiations. By 2011, the Parliament was supporting the treaty, leading eventually to a change in position by the European Commission. Within the EU, France and Germany were the strongest opponents. The conservative government in the UK and (non EU member) Switzerland were surprise early supporters of the treaty.
  • 17. World Blind Union
  • 18. Washington Post: Filmmakers’ group tries to reshape treaty that would benefit the blind By Kimberly Kindy,June 22, 2013 But the MPAA has been using its considerable clout with Washington officials to press for changes in the accord, warning that loosening copyright protections to help the blind could set a costly precedent. “What happens here could affect other future treaties,” said Chris Marcich, who is in charge of dealing with the negotiations for the MPAA “They suddenly come out of the woodwork in the eleventh hour, and they’ve risked blowing up the entire negotiation,” said Dan Pescod, vice chairman of the World Blind Union’s campaign for reading rights. The American entertainment industry has long been a muscular advocate for its interests. The movie business, along with television, music, cable and Internet interests, contributed $20.7 million to President Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, making entertainment the fourth-largest industry sector backing the president. The heads of several major film studios, such as Warner Bros., are among the largest bundlers of Obama’s campaign money.
  • 19. A more few pictures and videos from the negotiations July 24-25, 2008 KEI/WBU Experts meeting 2009 SCCR 19 April 13, 2011 EU Parliament event Some pictures from the early SCCR negotiations Videos from June 2013 diplomatic conference
  • 20. Treaty text Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled Contracting parties On June 28, 2013, 51 countries signed the treaty, a record for the 1st day open for signatures: Link: contracting parties
  • 21. Some issues in the negotiations
  • 22. Article 7 Obligations Concerning Technological Measures Contracting Parties shall take appropriate measures, as necessary, to ensure that when they provide adequate legal protection and effective legal remedies against the circumvention of effective technological measures, this legal protection does not prevent beneficiary persons from enjoying the limitations and exceptions provided for in this Treaty [11]. 11 Agreed statement concerning Article 7: It is understood that authorized entities, in various circumstances, choose to apply technological measures in the making, distribution and making available of accessible format copies and nothing herein disturbs such practices when in accordance with national law.
  • 23. Article 2: Definitions (a) "works" means literary and artistic works within the meaning of Article 2(1) of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, in the form of text, notation and/or related illustrations, whether published or otherwise made publicly available in any media [1]; 1 Agreed statement concerning Article 2(a): For the purposes of this Treaty, it is understood that this definition includes such works in audio form, such as audiobooks.
  • 24. How an audio visual work can be made accessible to both deaf and blind persons
  • 25. NISO Webinar • April 9, 2014 Questions? All questions will be posted with presenter answers on the NISO website following the webinar: NISO Webinar: Back from Marrakesh: Implementing an Accessible Content World
  • 26. Thank you for joining us today. Please take a moment to fill out the brief online survey. We look forward to hearing from you! THANK YOU