Marrakesh Treaty helps vision impaired to access books

Australia has joined an international treaty that will help an estimated 285 million people with vision impairment worldwide enjoy greater access to books and overcome copyright barriers.


The Marrakesh Treaty provides exceptions to copyright protections to help people with vision impairment in Australia and across borders access books and other material in formats such as large print, braille or audio.


This means Australia will exchange accessible versions of books and other material with authorised organisations in other treaty countries.


It will benefit people with vision impairment in Australia and abroad, but particularly in countries with less developed copyright systems where it is harder to access the formats they need.


The treaty also balances the commercial interests of copyright holders by ensuring organisations first take steps to purchase accessible material before relying on the treaty provisions.


The treaty will come into effect three months after 20 countries join it.


To date, 11 countries have joined including: Argentina, El Salvador, India, Mali, Mexico, Mongolia, Paraguay, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.


More information is available from the World Intellectual Property Organization.


11 December 2015.