Music legend Stevie Wonder recently spoke at the United Nation’s World Intellectual Property Organization. He delivered a simple, important message: “End the information deprivation that keeps the visually impaired in the dark.” What does intellectual property and WIPO have to do with this issue? Blind or visually-impaired people need to be able to convert documents into accessible formats, but that conversion can require copying the work in ways that might be prohibited by copyright. While limitations and exceptions to copyright in national laws help address this issue, there’s still a large gap in equity of access. That’s why WIPO is currently considering a draft treaty for “Improved Access for Blind,” Visually Impaired and other Reading Disabled Persons.
You can watch Wonder’s speech (and My Cherie Amour sing-along with UN delegates) below: