Stevie Wonder to the UN: The Blind Need Access to Audiobooks

Stevie Wonder addressed the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on Monday, lobbying for increased access to audiobooks for the visually impaired. Wonder said that over 300 million people “live in the dark” want to “read their way into light.”

The UN’s international copyright framework has been under revision for six years to better accommodate newer media like audiobooks. Under the current rules, institutes for the blind may have to make multiple copies of the same audiobook, leading to higher production costs. It also means that the visually impaired in poorer countries have limited access to audiobooks.

“We must develop a protocol that allows the easy import and export of copyright materials so that people with print disabilities can join the mainstream of the literate world,” Wonder said.

Wonder urged the diplomats, “”Please work it out. Or I’ll have to write a song about what you didn’t do.” On the other hand, if they come up with a solution, he said that “I’ll come back and do an incredible celebration concert.”

(Source: AP)

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