[Diplomacy] WIPO Treaty for Visually Challenged, Patent vs Copyright difference, Marrakesh Treaty

MrunalDiplomacy21 Comments

Mrunal's Win22 Series for Economy Updates for UPSC Prelims & Mains 2022
  1. What is WIPO?
  2. What is this agreement?
  3. Difference: Patents vs. Copyrights?
  4. Marrakesh Treaty for Visually Challenged
  5. Educating visually challenged

What is WIPO?

WIPO been in news in context of (1) US Special 301 –intellectual property rights (2) Marrakesh treaty.
Since UPSC is not going to change syllabus for 2014, WIPO becomes important for General Studies Mains paper II last topic “Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.”

Mock Q. What is WIPO? How does it help in protection of intellectual property rights? (200 words)

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a specialized agency of United Nations, setup in 1970.

  • Has 180+ member nations and 250+ non-governmental organizations.
  • Has its own General assembly to discuss the policy issues and IPR treaties.
  • Day to day functioning carried out by the Secretariat at Geneva, under the Director General.
  • Self-funding organization, doesn’t depend on UN budget.

How does it help?

  1. promotes the protection of intellectual property rights in
    1. Industrial domain: patents, invention, trademark etc.
    2. Artistic domain: book, music, photographs etc.
  2. Enforcement of IPR related treaties, the most important one being “Patent Cooperation Treaty” (PCT). A patent registered under PCT, has legal validity in all the countries that have signed PCT treaty.
  3. Coordinates with WTO for enforcement of TRIPS- Trade related intellectual property rights & GI (Geographical indicator) tags.
  4. Coordinates with national agencies to combat piracy- in medicine, music, movies, software and other copyrighted products.
  5. Provides arbitration /mediator service to private parties for IPR infringement.
  6. Resolves disputes over internet domain names. Particularly “Cybersquatting” i.e. buying a domain name in bad faith, to sell it to the rightful owner at high price.
Difference: Patents vs Copyrights?
Patent Copyrights
Patent gives the designer complete rights over the idea in whichever form it is used. Copyrights on the other hand given for a work in particular form like a book, an audio and only that exact reproduction, example cut and paste of text falls under its ambit.
It requires compulsory registration. Does not require a registration, once the work is created it is a property of the author.
Patent rights are thus usually given for a brief period say 20 years. The rights are given for the entire lifetime of the author and extend for 50 years even after the death of the producer.

Marrakesh Treaty for Visually Challenged

List the salient features of Marrakesh treaty for visually challenged. What India’s stand on this treaty? (200 words)

World Intellectual Property rights Organization (WIPO)’s Marrakesh Treaty aims to help visually challenged people to access copyrighted books.

Salient features:

  • Copyright doesn’t apply IF book is reproduced for visually challenged (VC) people i.e. in Braille language, audiobooks etc.
  • Even permits cross-border exchange and translation of such books for the benefit of VC.

BUT with conditions:

  1. Only IF the given organization / person is doing it for non-profit purpose. They can only charge the cost of production.
  2. They’ll have to get license from respective national Copyright Boards.
  3. Will come into force when 20 WIPO Member nations ratify this treaty.

India’s stand

  • 2012: We already amended Copyright act to give exceptions to visually challenged people.
  • 2014: We signed Marrakesh Treaty
  • We’ve promised WIPO to ratify this treaty in our parliament soon.
  • Will permit translation of copyrighted books in all 22 official Indian languages – for the benefit of VC. They’ll be distributed to educational institutions & libraries
  • Even private sector has come forward. TATA Consultancy Services (TCS) developed online platform to aid in online distribution of such books.

More than 250 million people around the world are visually challenged. 25% of them live in our country. Therefore, India’s readiness to sign and ratify this treaty is a commendable step.
~210 words

Positive Implications:

  1. Rather than giving freebies like free bus pass which no one helps them redeem, this way of empowerment helps them develop self-confidence.
  2. Leak proof= no diversion of money, beneficiaries directly benefited.
  3. Helps achieve the so called Millennium development goals, rise in GDP [contribution from this section of our society also].
  4. Fulfilling right to equality under article 14= equal access to education and educational resources.

Side notes

  • WIPO Director General Francis Gurry
  • WIPO HQ: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Called Marrakesh treaty because it was adopted @Marrakesh, Morocco in 2013.
  • 64 out of 187 WIPO nations have signed this treaty. But 20 ratifications yet to come. Only then it’ll be implemented.

Govt.Scheme: educating visually challenged

Now at the national level efforts so far towards educating visually challenged:

  1. At elementary level Sarva shiksha abhyan aims at providing inclusive elementary education for children under the age of 14 years.

At Secondary level a dedicated program for educating the disabled has been formulated:

  1. Inclusive Education for disabled at secondary stage
  2. Centrally sponsored scheme started in 2009.
  3. All disabled children [age group of 14+-18+] completing 8 years of elementary education is given assistance to complete 4 years of secondary education:
  4. Assistance to access educational materials, aids, transport allowance for motion disabled, reader allowance for visually impaired, access to teacher etc.
  5. Central assistance of Rs. 3000/annum/child topped by state assistance of Rs.600/annum/child is provided.
  6. Girls provided special focus= a stipend of Rs.200/month.
  7. Implemented by state government agencies and can involve NGOs as well.
Indian History Freedom Struggle Pratik Nayak

21 Comments on “[Diplomacy] WIPO Treaty for Visually Challenged, Patent vs Copyright difference, Marrakesh Treaty”

  1. US ,though have less visually impaired people ,spend much more for accessible book from budget.
    in INDIA it is reverse situation , thats why after copyright bill 2010 ,this agreement is necessary

  2. nice one which enables visually handicapped sorry differently able persons to face the world with confidence and develop self esteem among them

  3. i want to know the syllabus of general studies and other optionals. please anyone post official website of knowing syllabus content…….

  4. Hello Mrunal sir and the readers of Mrunal.org, wish you all an astounding, prosperous and a successful 2013! well before delve into my views pertaining to the WIPO treaty on import of accessible books, let me tell you some facts. as the article states, there are 285 million are affected by visual defects all over the world. among those, India possess a vast majority of it. according to some NGOs working for the visually challenged says that it is around 4 million. but the authenticity of the data is questionable. well being myself a visually challenged, i can reiterate some phenomenon with regard to the accessible materials we use. first Braille. this is the most and an indispensable source of learning for those who borne with visual challenges and to those who can’t read or write because of sudden fall in their eyesight like “RP” and so forth. to convert a printed material into braille, we need to invest more than 600 % of the cost price of the incked one. for E.G, if you are a sighted, you can purchase General studies mannual by TTMH at the cost value of around 1100 or less and you will start reading from the moment the books reached your hands. were as if you are a visually challenged, you have to purchase the incked material @ RS 1100, then you have to give it to some NGOs specially working for us to scan and convert to take a braille print out. for that, each braille page costs around RS1. and the fruitful thing is, 1 3rd of inked page can only be printed in 1 braille page. that is, 3 braille pages= 1 inked page. i hope you can calculate the cost of braille copy of GS mannual by TTMH. and importantly, you have to wait at least for 2 months to get your braille materials. you can find the difference of learning and time expenditure of a sighted aspirant and a visually challenged aspirant. even though this treaty comes into force, i am still puzzled how this is gonna reduce the price burden of the visually challenged. importing accessible books is appriciatable, but we need to know how they are gonna be distributed to the targetted community, and how the treaty is going to avoid the utter exploitation of some NGOs in this regard. despite all that, this treaty is a sign of improvement that will help people with visual challenges to collide with others in the arena of competitive world more efficiently and effectively.
    thank you.

  5. i want to know the syllabus of general studies and other optionals. please anyone post official website of knowing syllabus content…….

  6. Hey Mrunal..
    i just want to know about your background in education and present employment status,just for sake of my inner inquisitiveness
    nothing very serious about it..

  7. hi sir! no words to appreciate u n ur work adequately. thanks a million. may u plz guide us about proper online test series. i wud like to join the one but ….. i hv a suggestion sir, y don’t u help us by starting a test sries as ur mock questions r really helping n close to the upsc’s nature of ques.

  8. Hey mrunal can you please reply me with the explaination that is government can sell its stakes in HAL

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