Monday, 25 October 2010

"TIGAR, TIGAR burning bright ..."

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has come up with some cheering news here: according to a media release "Stakeholders’ Platform Launches Project to Facilitate Access by VIPs to Published Works", issued on Saturday,
"An unprecedented initiative to facilitate access to published works by the visually impaired and the print disabled was ... in New Delhi, India at the 5th meeting of WIPO’s Stakeholders’ Platform, which was set up in January 2009 to explore the specific needs, and concerns, of both copyright owners and reading impaired persons and brings together representatives of the visually impaired persons (VIPs) community as well as publishers. The Platform approved the launch on November 1, 2010 of TIGAR - the trusted intermediary global accessible resources project – which will enable publishers to make their titles easily available to trusted intermediaries. These intermediaries will create accessible formats and share them amongst each other and with specialized libraries.

It is estimated that only 5% of the world’s one million print titles that are published every year are accessible to the some 340 million around the world who are blind, visually impaired or who live with other print disabilities. Specialized organizations globally, such as libraries for the blind, have taken on the task of adapting these books into Daisy, Braille audio or special digital formats at great expense. The TIGAR project is the result of close collaboration between WIPO and organizations representing authors, publishers and blind and low vision persons, including the World Blind Union (WBU) and the International Publishers Association (IPA), and promises to provide access to a wider range of accessible books. WIPO will provide the technical support for this project".
TIGAR doesn't seem to have its own website yet (presumably we have to wait till next week's launch), but WIPO's Vision IP portal, which invites the taking of initiatives by the copyright community, is here.

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