It is symbolic that today, on the World Libraries Day, a landmark event occurred – the Marrakesh Treaty on “Braille books” entered into force. Despite the fact that Ukraine has not yet acceded to this Treaty, it is of great importance for the international community.

The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled was adopted on June 27, 2013, in Marrakesh, the Kingdom of Morocco. The Treaty is one of the international treaties in copyright sphere, administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization. The primary goal of the Marrakesh Treaty is to set several obligatory limitations and exceptions in favor of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled.

World Union of the Blind

22 countries, that have ratified the Marrakesh Treaty, shall be obliged to bring their national legislation into correspondence with the key provisions of the Treaty in order to  permit the reproduction, distribution and making available of copyright protected published works, without consent of rightholders, in accessible formats as Braille Script. Moreover, the Marrakesh Treaty shall permit organizations, that serve the people, who are visually impaired, as well as libraries and so-called “authorized persons” to exchange these accessible format works across borders to other countries that ratified or acceded to the Treaty.

We would really appreciate that many new countries, including Ukraine, shall accede to this important Treaty since millions of visually impaired persons throughout the world need public support, and we are strictly convinced that the Marrakesh Treaty will alter their lives for the better.

Author: Yuliia Matsiuk

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