Thought you might all be interested in this. Let there be no doubt as to
who is making positive and substantial changes that effect the blind of
this country. I don't know about you, but I remember late last summer
when a whole lot of people were criticising Dr. Jernigan for the manner
in which he handled the representatives of the AAP during the panel
discussion at convention. Sometimes it pays to be firm<grin>.
> From owner-easi@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU Thu Sep 5 09:55:17 1996
> From: Jamal Mazrui <74444.1076@COMPUSERVE.COM>
> Subject: Chafee/copyright again
> Senator John Chafee of Rhode Island, the sponsor of the copyright amendment
> pending final passage by Congress, recently gave another floor speech urging
> adoption of this "books for the blind" provision.
> Congressional Record dated Tuesday, September 3, 1996
> Senate Section
> Attributed to CHAFEE (R-RI)
> BOOKS FOR THE BLIND
> Mr. CHAFEE. Mr. President, I am pleased to support final passage of the
> conference report on the appropriations bill for the legislative branch. The
> managers of the bill have done a laudable job in their continued efforts to
> reduce spending, and I am particularly delighted that they were able to
> include my amendment on books for the blind.
> This amendment, which makes a very small change in current copyright law,
> will make an enormous difference to our Nation's blind children and adults.
> It has the approval of the authorizing committees in both Chambers, as well
> as the support of the National Federation of the Blind, the American
> Foundation for the Blind, the American Printing House for the Blind,
> Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, the American Council of the Blind, the
> Association of American Publishers, and the U.S. Office of Copyright.
> The amendment which I offered with Senators Frahm, Stevens, Leahy,
> McConnell, Bingaman, Frist, Ford, Pressler, and DeWine resulted from the
> efforts of Ambassador Anthony Veliotes, representing the Association of
> American Publishers, and Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, representing the blindness
> community. In January, they met and agreed that this amendment would address
> the needs of the blindness community without compromising the rights and
> interests of the publishers. I greatly appreciate their help and the help of
> my constituent, Ed Beck, the legislative representative for the Rhode Island
> affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind, who first brought this to
> my attention.
> National Library Service and a number of nonprofit organizations, such as
> The American Printing House for the Blind and Recording for the Blind and
> Dyslexic, reproduce, in specialized formats, published material that is
> readily available to sighted individuals in libraries, bookstores,
> newsstands, and countless other locations. "Specialized formats" refers to
> braille, sound recordings--either on cassette or phonorecord--and new
> formats that can be used with special software. My amendment seeks to end
> unintended censorship of blind individuals' access to current information.
> Under this amendment, groups that produce specialized formats for the blind
> no longer are required to gain permission from the copyright holder before
> beginning production.
> James Gashel of the National Federation of the Blind was invaluable in his
> efforts to help us put forth a proposal that would be acceptable to all
> sides. He is a strong and able spokesman for the blind. Also, I would like
> to thank the managers of the bill, who were completely accepting of this
> amendment, as well as their staff, Larry Harris with Senator Mack and Jim
> English with Senator Murray.
> Let me close by quoting from a letter I received from Mr. Gashel that
> explains the significance of this amendment to the blindness community. Mr.
> Gashel writes:
> This is a significant change for us. It means, for example, that the
> current best-sellers, which the Library of Congress produces for us, should
> be available in Braille or recorded format within months rather than a year
> or more. It also means that blind children in schools should be able to have
> the editions of textbooks being used by their sighted classmates this year
> rather than the ones in use last year
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