Australia Signs Treaty giving Blind and Visually Impaired access to Books

In a symbolic moment Australia joined 68 countries as an original signatory of the Marrakesh Treaty. 

Implementation of the treaty will do much to end the ‘book famine’ – a situation where the world’s Blind and Visually Impaired (BVIP) can only access 2-7% of the world’s published content.  The Marrakesh Treaty tackles this drought of works in two ways, by mandating countries have a copyright exception to allow accessible copies to be made if there are none available, and then ensuring that those accessible copies can be shared across borders.

Thoughts on a WIPO treaty for the blind

The 24th Session of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) kicked off this week in Geneva. Among the topics up for discussion in this session are exceptions for libraries and archives, exceptions for educational institutions, protecting the rights of broadcasters, and an instrument providing access to copyright works for persons with a print disability.

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