Published: April 25, 2019

Earlier this month, the University of Colorado Law School’s Technology Law and Policy Clinic (TLPC) presented at the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rightsthe third time they've done so.

TLPC students presented their ongoing work around the future of accessible technologies before the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva.

Since 2017, the clinic has worked with University of Cape Town law professor Caroline Ncube to study WIPO member states' implementation of provisions of copyright law designed to facilitate the creation of accessible copyrighted works for people with disabilities, with the help of travel funding from WIPO. In this iteration of the study, the TLPC and Cape Town teams detailed responses by member states to a survey administered by WIPO, with independent research into member state provisions.

Student attorneys Kevin Doss ('20), Colleen McCroskey ('20), and John Schoppert ('19), along with Associate Clinical Professor Blake E. Reid and colleagues from the University of Cape Town, presented on the study’s methodology and results and discused future technologies that could make accessibility to copyrighted works for people with disabilities much easier than it is currently. For example, McCroskey spoke about the potential of machine learning to cut down on the cost of creating accessible copyrighted works.

Building on work by TLPC alumni in 2016 and 2017, Ncube, and University of Cape Town students, the cohort also released a comprehensive comparative study of member state implementation of the Marrakesh VIP Treaty, which allows for copyright exceptions to facilitate the creation of accessible versions of books and other copyrighted works for the visually impaired.

"The study was a monumental amount of work and the cross-university student team did an excellent and thorough job," Reid said. "We hope to continue our work on future discussions stemming from the study."

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