Dancing and tears greet book treaty for blind
Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled,
http://www.internationaldisabilityalliance.org/en/article/ida-press-release-new-wipo-treaty-27-june-2013Geneva 1 July 2013 – Last week (27 June 2013), a new historic treaty was adopted in Marrakesh under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to boost access to books for the benefit of hundreds of millions of people who are blind, visually impaired and print-disabled.
The treaty, called the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled, requires the contracting parties to adopt national law provisions that permit the reproduction, distribution and making available of published works in accessible formats through limitations and exceptions to the rights of copyright right holders. It also provides for the exchange of these accessible format works across borders by organizations that serve the people who are blind, visually impaired, and print disabled. In this regards, it will harmonize limitations and exceptions so that these organizations can operate across borders. The Treaty, which calls for cooperation among its contracting parties in order to foster cross-border exchanges, has been also designed to provide assurances to authors and publishers that that system will not expose their published works to misuse or distribution to anyone other than the intended beneficiaries.
This Treaty will benefit more than 314 million blind and visually impaired persons worldwide. Currently only 5% of all published books in the developed countries and less than 1% in the developing countries have been produced in accessible formats.
The World Blind Union (WBU) has been instrumental in the negotiations of this Treaty, which has been the culmination of many years of work on improving access to published works in formats such as Braille, large print text and audio books.
The treaty will enter into force after it has been ratified by 20 WIPO members.