Saturday, June 29, 2013

Copyright treaty expands print accessibility

Three delegates applaud during World Intellectual Property Organisation treaty signing in In Marrakech, Morocco
Image credit: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
The amount of materials available to people with print disabilities is expected to substantially increase, with the adoption of a treaty on Thursday among member states in the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) welcomed the successful conclusion to a negotiating process “in which the international library community has played a strong part.” As related by IFLA:
“Prior to the conference the World Blind Union estimated that only 7 percent of published books are ever made accessible (in formats such as Braille, audio and large print) in the world’s richest countries, and less than 1 percent in poorer ones. The treaty sets out to solve this ‘book famine’ by creating a copyright exception to facilitate cross-border transfer of books.”
As a result of the treaty among WIPO member states, nations will be able to share or make accessible copies for people with print disabilities in other countries. And in the words of IFLA President Ingrid Parent, “Libraries stand ready to help implement the treaty and provide accessible format materials for those who need them most.”

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