India Becomes the First Country to Ratify the Marrakesh Treaty

Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled

India becomes the first country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled on 30th June, 2014. So far, 79 WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) member states have signed this Treaty. The Marrakesh treaty will come into force once twenty countries ratify this treaty.

India handed over the Instrument of Ratification to Mr Francis Gurry, Director General, WIPO at a ceremony organized held during the 28th Session of SCCR (Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights) in WIPO Headquarters.

The main goal of Marrakesh Treaty is to create a set of mandatory limitations and exceptions for the benefit of the blind, visually impaired and otherwise print disabled (VIPs). It addresses the “book famine” by requiring its contracting parties to adopt national law provisions that permit the reproduction, distribution and making available of published works in accessible formats – such as Braille – to VIPs and to permit exchange of these works across borders by organizations that serve those beneficiaries.

Once the Marrakesh Treaty comes into force, it will facilitate access to published works for the millions of blind, visually impaired and otherwise print disabled persons in India. It would go a long way in establishing equal rights and opportunities for education and employment for them.

The Treaty will facilitate import of accessible format copies from the member states by the Indian authorized entities such as educational institutions, libraries and other such institutions working for the benefit of visually impaired persons. This will also facilitate translation of imported accessible format copies and export of accessible format copies in Indian languages. The Indian Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012 is in harmony with the Marrakesh Treaty.

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