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Copyright versus the Blind

Interesting post by the sci-fi writer Cory Doctorow: Homemade Braille edition of Little Brother from Detroit public school teacher, in which he notes that he was sent a Braille copy of his young adult novel Little Brother, by a teacher of visually impaired students in Detroit. She had run off a Braille copies using her school’s Braille embosser to supply to her students. The teacher  noted, “What I could not enclose is the gratitude from my Braille reading students. For various reasons, most books in Braille are aimed at younger children. My students are all between the ages of 12 and 15 and have no real interest in reading a Kindergarten level book. I was finally able to give them something interesting, compelling, and, most importantly at their grade level.”

What I was especially interested in was how Doctorow’s use of the Creative Commons license contributed to this:

Patricia notes that she was able to do this only because the text of the novel is available as a free, Creative Commons licensed download (though US copyright law grants her the right to prepare a Braille edition of any book, the cost of doing so from a traditional printed book is prohibitive, and converting from a DRM-crippled ebook is technically difficult).

[Against Monopoly cross-post]

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