What Happened in Marrakesh: Negotiating the Treaty for the Blind

What Happened in Marrakesh: Negotiating the Treaty for the Blind

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 | King Hall Room 1001 | 12:00 PM

2013 Law & the Information Age Lecture:
James Packard Love | Director, Knowledge Ecology International

On June 28, 2013, in Marrakesh Morocco, 51 countries signed a new UN treaty on copyright exceptions for persons who are blind or have certain other disabilities. The Marrakesh agreement was the first copyright treaty focused on the rights of users. Because it was seen as a paradigm changing precedent for copyright treaties, it proved controversial even though it would likely have little (if any) financial impact on publishers. Opposition to the treaty came not only from book and journal publishers, but also from the motion picture industry and a diverse group of patent owners. The treaty is part of a larger civil society effort to reform WIPO and expand access to knowledge. Knowledge Ecology International, based in Washington, D.C., played a key role in the negotiations from start to finish, beginning with the co-convening of the experts group that drafted the original proposal in July 2008. This talk will focus on what was achieved and what was not achieved in the negotiations, and on the struggle to promote access to knowledge.

Mr. Love is the Director of Knowledge Ecology International (KEI). Mr. Love is also the U.S. co-chair of the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) Intellectual Property Policy Committee, and the chair of the Essential Inventions board of directors. He advises UN agencies, national governments, international and regional intergovernmental organizations and public health NGOs, and is the author of a number of articles and monographs on innovation and intellectual property rights. In 2006, Knowledge Ecology International received a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Science & Innovation Studies, UC Davis Journal of International Law & Policy and the King Hall IP Law Association