IPA Blog

Michiel Kolman

Reading is for everyone: An Interview with Hugo Setzer on the importance of accessibility in the publishing industry

On the topic of inclusion, we tend to focus on the areas of gender and sexual orientation. What does not receive as much attention is the area of accessibility. Simply put, having our products and services designed for people with disabilities speaks to the core of what publishers care about; the ability to reach and convey understanding to our target audiences. Accessibility is a key focus at the IPA, and the current IPA President, Hugo Setzer, is leading the call for publishers to support inclusive publishing practices. I caught up with Hugo to find out more; 
What do Kenya, Germany and Korea have in common? There are all members of IPA, and during June I had the unique opportunity to make a two-week trip to all three of them.
Diversity and Inclusion comes in many different shapes and colors and this month, Pride month in many countries, the focus will be on LGBTI+, or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex, where the plus denotes all other groups in an overall inclusive approach to sexual orientation and gender identity.
Arguably a forerunner in making progress on the topic of inclusion and diversity, the UK Publishers Association began their journey with a landmark report on the diversity of the UK publishing industry in 2017. They have just released their findings from a follow up report, and I caught up with their CEO Stephen Lotinga during the London Book Fair to find out more.
558 days after it was proposed by the European Commission on 15 September 2016, the Members of the European Parliament adopted on Tuesday 26 March, the compromise text on copyright in the digital single market (the market we all share as Europeans thanks to freedom of circulation of goods, services and persons). And then, 20 days later, that text was passed by the Council and became EU law with a two-year deadline for EU Member States to incorporate it into their national legislations.
Friday at SCCR 38 was for “other matters” – copyright in the digital environment, resale right and theatre directors. 
Following Wednesday’s jam-packed day of presentations and side-events, you could feel a drop in energy in the chamber today as a number of reports were presented.
Wednesday morning, before the start of the WIPO plenary session, IPA had two important meetings. Firstly, we were invited to take part in a regular briefing that the US delegation offers particular stakeholders at every SCCR. Secondly, IPA then met with the Asia-Pacific Group which includes Members States from a huge swathe of territory from the Middle East to islands in the Pacific. In a friendly meeting, we asked if there were reviews of copyright on the horizon among their members. We discussed the upcoming WIPO regional conferences (the first of which, will be at the end of April, in Singapore) as well as various other events and projects within their borders. These types of meetings are very important to ascertain current positions and plumb possible future shifts.
The second day of the 38th session of the WIPO SCCR, began with the regular meeting the IPA organizes on Tuesday morning for the representatives of the Creative Sector Organisations Group that we coordinate. On the 13th floor of the WIPO building with sweeping views up Lake Geneva towards Lausanne, we convened a meeting that included representatives of the music, film and collective management sectors as well as publishing. The purpose of the meeting is to brief those who had missed the first day’s action and to plan what we will do for the rest of the week.
Yesterday was the first day of the 38th session of the WIPO SCCR. If you need to re-familiarise yourself with what has happened previously and some of the WIPO lingo here are links to previous diaries, our jargon buster and the official SCCR page.
Today, we begin the week-long, 38thsession of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). For those of you new to these conferences, we direct you to our summary of where we ended up last time (in November 2018).  

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