The Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled has been extended to Guernsey from 1st January 2021.
This treaty aims to help persons who are affected by a range of disabilities that interfere with the effective reading of printed material. This broad definition includes persons who are blind, visually impaired, or print disabled or persons with a physical disability that prevents them from holding and manipulating a book.
The Marrakesh Treaty was adopted by the Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2013 and is the first copyright treaty to include a clear human rights perspective.
Carol Le Page from the Guernsey Disability Alliance said “The GDA is pleased that this Treaty has been extended to the Bailiwick. Guernsey is looking to be at the forefront of intellectual property, which includes books and other printed works. This Treaty will help us play our part in improving access to books, magazines and other printed materials for the world’s population of individuals with visual impairments or who are affected by other impairments that make it difficult for them to access printed material.”
The benefits of the Marrakesh Treaty include:
- Improved awareness of the challenges faced by people with visual impairments and persons with disabilities
- Greater access to education
- Enhanced social integration and cultural participation
- Poverty alleviation and increased contributions to the national economy
The Treaty will require Guernsey to introduce a standard set of limitations and exceptions to copyright rules in order to permit reproduction, distribution and making available of published works in formats designed to be accessible to people with some impairments. The treaty also permits exchange of these works across borders.