ICMP believes that the three-step test for exceptions and limitations to copyright protection provides sufficient flexibility to allow individual countries to determine their own policies, adapt to technological developments and provide access solutions in the digital environment. In particular, individual countries can determine the legitimacy of exceptions and limitations in light of their purpose, the different uses in question, the legitimacy of the needs of beneficiaries and the relevant technological and societal context.
ICMP strongly endorses and supports reasonable efforts to increase the practical and functional access of blind and visually impaired persons to works protected by copyright. However we do not believe this should be achieved through the development of new mandatory exceptions. Such an approach is fundamentally at odds with existing, longstanding and well-settled copyright norms. ICMP instead considers licensing and voluntary solutions, as facilitated by the three-step test, to be the optimal tools to improve accessibility in a digital environment and to honour exceptions in a targeted effective way. ICMP also believes that the three step-test should not be re-interpreted to broaden the scope of the exceptions and limitations to copyright.
ICMP supports further work at WIPO on exceptions and limitations, in particular through the WIPO Stakeholder’s Platform, and believes that much progress can be made in building on experiences in different countries and providing good national models and examples of best practices. All appropriate tools should be considered, including sector-specific solutions, innovative partnerships and licensing mechanisms for providing and improving access.