ABA launches the UEB Rulebook, June 2010

Mary Schnackenberg, Bruce Maguire, Maryanne Diamond and Christine Simpson show copies of The Rules of Unified English Braille.

In Sydney Australia, on 5 June 2010 in association with the Annual General Meeting of the Australian Braille Authority, the Rules of Unified English Braille (commonly known as The UEB Rulebook) was launched.

Submission on Print Disability, 2009

The Print Disability Services Program submission (doc 870kb) was prepared by Brian Conway, Round Table President on behalf of Round Table. The document summarises the main points that were raised by the Round Table member organisations who provided contributions. Where members have documented conflicting views they were either left out or indicated that these matters are not unanimously supported by the membership.

Submission on Access to Premises, 2009

ABA’s submission to Government on its Draft Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards (doc 282kb)

Statement on the Global Library, 2007

The DAISY Consortium and IFLA LBS are working on projects to make a range of material accessible to the global print disability community.

A number of projects are underway to assist in the formation of a Global Library include:

  • Federated Search across content held by participating libraries
  • Communication and Collaboration with publishers
  • Digital Rights Management
  • International Legal Framework
  • Shared Collection Development
  • Standard Interface for the CNIB e-delivery system
  • Integration with mainstream libraries

With this also impacting the Australasian environment the Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities wholly supports the vision and developement of a Global Library and the work of the DAISY Consortium and IFLA.

Copyright Amendment Bill, 2006

A draft version of the proposed amendments to the Copyright Act was released in October 2006 for comment. This followed extensive representations to the copyright department of the Attorney Generals department by RTIAPD, VA and BCA. The amendments are viewed as being a significant shift towards increasing access to published information for people with a print disability. The proposed changes incorporate the addition of the Bern convention 3 step test. This in effect means it is not an infringement of copyright to make a copy of a publication as long as it is a special case, does not interfere with the rights of the author to benefit from their work or that the copying does not unduly prejudice the intellectual property of the owner. These provisions will pave the way for individuals and organisations to make copies for print disabled people as long as there is no accessible copy available. Additionally the technological circumvention provisions protect the rights of people with print disability to use technology to access information. Additions of format and time shifting provisions will also help individuals with a print disability. If these proposed provisions are passed into law they will represent a significant improvement for the print disability community. The Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities has played a major leadership role in attaining these changes.

Update on copyright amendments, September 2007

We believe that the Copyright Amendment Bill 2006 works to put into law important new exceptions in line with the Round Table submission in relation to new personal use exceptions and for institutions helping people with print disabilities:

  • The “personal use” exceptions ensure that members of our community can “format shift” to make accessible copies for private use and
  • Can with other sectors of the community “time-shift” – recording TV and radio programs, and
  • Can “space-shift” recording from a CD to play on your CD players without fear of breaching copyright

The Copyright Amendment Bill 2006 addressed our submission and greatly reduced the restrictions that the preceding copyright law placed on Round Table member organisations making copies without needing prior permissions:

  • The legislation establishes an exception to infringement for people with a disability individuals and individuals assisting them under certain conditions without prior approval and confirms our ability to communicate works in accessible formats. It should be noted that this provision is broad in scope as it does not refer to particular disabilities.
  • The legislation establishes an exception to infringement for organizations assisting people with a print disability to reproduce copies under certain conditions without prior approval and confirms our ability to communicate works in accessible formats. The legislation also allows the creation of masters from which copies can be made for individuals. It should be noted that a remuneration notice is still required.
  • The amendment is not format-specific. This allows our organisations and our clients to fully utilise the many and varied technological advances that are being made in the fields of media, information delivery and accessibility.
  • Finally, the amendment has broadened the definition of a perceptual disability to more accurately reflect the needs and circumstances of the community.

The amendment provides guidance in the form of specific requirements to be recognised as a “special case” under the three step test utilised by Section 92 of the Berne Convention.

  • Specific uses of copyright material by our organisations do not conflict with normal exploitation of the work, as reproductions produced are for a “closed market”, and are circulated on a non-profit basis;
  • Uses do not restrict a copyright holder from producing a similar version for the open market for their own commercial benefit.
  • The uses of copyright material by an organisation do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the copyright holder, as all reproductions in all formats produced by an organization contain a full and complete acknowledgement of the author, publisher and or/copyright holder of the original work.

The legislation particularly the “special exceptions” provision enables individual with print disabilities and organizations assisting them to take action to address information access needs in a more supportive legislative framework. But with that comes responsibility.

Whether or not circumstances “amount to a special case” or use “conflicts with a normal exploitation off a work or “prejudices” the legitimate concerns of a copy right owner are open for interpretation by the courts. Any owner of copyright materials may take action in the courts where they believe there rights have been damaged. So take the tests seriously. You will need to take steps to change processes and policies in your organizations to establish that you have acted within the law. If in doubt we strongly recommend you seek legal advice.

  • More than ever before we must continue to work closely with Publishers to ensure that the rights of authors and writers are considered.
  • More than every before we must continue to work with the Copyright Agency Limited to ensure that we register our transformation of works and contribute to the database that alerts others of a accessible copy of a work.
  • More than ever before we must work with the Australian Copyright Council and the Attorney General office to ensure that we weight our decisions with the opinion of such bodies.


Last updated: November 12, 2013 at 12:56 pm