The Obama administration went on record four years ago supporting a proposed international treaty to make books more accessible to the blind.
But as world leaders prepare to gather in Morocco next month to finalize a deal that Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay proposed in 2009, the administration is mum on whether it supports a treaty that would, for the first time, loosen copyright restrictions. Many fear lobbying by Hollywood and dozens of the world’s largest corporations, including ExxonMobil, may scuttle the treaty altogether.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office, the agency responsible for the Obama administration’s negotiations, declined to comment when Wired recently asked about its position on the proposed accord. But in 2009, Justin Hughes, a senior USPTO advisor, said:
“We recognize that some in the international copyright community believe that any international consensus on substantive limitations and exceptions to copyright law would weaken international copyright law. The United States does not share that point of view.”