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Rights group writes to H.R.D. Minister on discriminatory Copyright Act

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: The proposed amendment to the Copyright Act has come under the scanner of disability rights groups for being discriminatory towards persons with cerebral palsy, dyslexia, multiple sclerosis and upper body paralysis. Coalition for an Inclusive Society has written to Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Human Resource Development apprising him on the need to revamp the proposed amendment.

A provision in the amendment expressly states that the permission to reproduce copies is automatic only for ‘specially designed’ formats such as Braille and Sign Language. For other formats such as audio or software readable e-text, approval is required from the Copyright Board. This discriminates against those who cannot use formats such as Braille. So all those who rely on mainstream formats, must apply for a license from the Copyright Board prior to converting material into accessible formats making the process difficult.

Coalition for an Inclusive Society consists of members like Dr. Dipendra Manocha, Dr. Sam Taraporevala, Ketan Kothari, Nirmita Narasimhan, Rahul Cherian, and Shamnad Basheer among others.

Click here to read full text of the letter (WORD – 26 KB)