Copyright eased for vision-impaired people

The Marrakesh Treaty of 2013 provides exceptions to copyright protections to help people with vision impairment internationally have access to books and other material in formats such as large print, braille or audio.
It means Australia will exchange accessible versions of books and other material with authorised organisations in other treaty countries, which will benefit people with vision impairment in Australia and abroad, particularly in countries with less-developed copyright systs 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 Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published works for Persons Who are Blind, Visually Handicapped or Otherwise Print Disables, is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation and will come into effect three months after 20 countries join it.
To date, 11 countries have done so: Argentina, El Salvador, India, Mali, Mexico, Mongolia, Paraguay, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, the United Arab irates and Uruguay.
The treaty has a clear humanitarian and social development dimension and its main goal is to create a set of mandatory limitations and exceptions for the benefits of blind, visually-handicapped and otherwise print-disabled people.

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