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BATA Copyright Consultancy Response

BATA Copyright Consultancy Response

With regard to the current Copyright Consultation process, we are aware of, and broadly endorse, the separate consultation responses from Iansyst Ltd and JISC Techdis, as we believe that they point the best way forward for people with print impairments to be able to obtain documents in the formats and on the devices that they can read best and where they can use appropriate Assistive Technology. Rather than reiterate the same points at length within your consultation response form, we think that it is more helpful to you to give a brief and broad endorsement in this email from the point of view of those with disabilities who BATA exists to serve.

We particularly endorse:

  • the consultation’s suggested “technology, format and platform neutral” approach as this will better cater for future needs and technologies;
  • Iansyst’s emphasis on ensuring that the private copying exception is expressed in the terms which best permit personal format shifting to meet the specific needs of print impaired people, as that also reflects the general need of all who will benefit from legitimising private copying;
  • therefore that private copying (format shifting) should be permitted where a person has any legal **access** to a document, not just legal **ownership**, to the benefit of general consumers as well as those with disabilities;
  • that in an electronic age it is **distribution** rather than copying that needs to be controlled in order to protect creative rights;
  • that it be clear that **private** copying need not try to maintain the integrity of the original work;
  • that the private copying exception also be allowed through Technological Protection Measures (DRM), particularly for those with disabilities;
  • that, where disabled people enjoy a specific exception, the definition of those enjoying the exception be updated to accord with that in the Equality Act 2010;
  • that section 31B-E of the CDPA be updated to accord with the private copying exception where the latter is broader, except:
    • that approved bodies copying for storage and distribution are still obliged to retain the integrity of the original as far as possible;
  • that the current copying licensing scheme for people with a disability (VIPs) should cease;
  • that exceptions should not be capable of being overridden by contracts;
  • that there should be no restriction on who can carry out activities such as subtitling or making accessible copies for print impaired people, as long as they keep to the law.

We also believe that these proposals go towards meeting the government’s agendas on efficiency and reform, personal choice, equality and transparency, whilst doing negligible harm to copyright holders compared with the status quo.

If you have any queries regarding the above please do not hesitate to contact me using any of the contact information below.

Yours sincerely

Mark McCusker
British Assistive Technology Association