Thursday, September 19, 2013

How the Marrakesh Treaty Opens Vistas for Print-Disabled Readers; American Libraries, September/October 2013

Jonathan Band, American Libraries; How the Marrakesh Treaty Opens Vistas for Print-Disabled Readers: "This summer, a diplomatic conference of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which was held in Marrakesh, Morocco, adopted the “Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled.” The treaty is designed to achieve the objective spelled out in its title by obligating the countries (known as contracting parties) that sign it to make exceptions in their copyright laws for the creation and distribution of accessible-format copies both domestically and across borders. As the first treaty devoted to copyright exceptions, the June 28, 2013, agreement represents a significant development in international copyright law... Since US law currently complies with the treaty’s requirements, lawmakers here do not need to pass any amendments in order to ratify the treaty. The treaty should nonetheless benefit print-disabled readers in the US by facilitating the import of more accesible-format copies from other contracting parties...Likewise, an authorized entity in Spain could export an accessible-format Spanish novel to a print-disabled person in California."

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