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Greater Access to Copyrighted Print Materials for Canadians With Visual Impairments and Print Disabilities

  • Published: 2016-10-10 (Revised/Updated 2016-11-05) : Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (canada.ca).
  • Synopsis: Canadians who are visually impaired or print-disabled will benefit from a wider availability of books and other copyrighted print materials

Main Document

Quote: "As more countries join the Treaty, visually impaired and print-disabled people will have greater access to print material from around the world-and in a variety of languages."

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced that the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled is coming into force internationally today.

The entry into force of the Marrakesh Treaty was made possible on June 30 when Canada became the 20th country to formally join the Treaty, meeting the total required for it to come into force.

The Treaty will facilitate the exchange of print material around the world in a variety of accessible formats, such as Braille, audiobooks and large-print books.

The Treaty will also enable schools, libraries and charitable organizations to support the education and employment of Canadians with disabilities, fostering a more inclusive global community.

As more countries join the Treaty, visually impaired and print-disabled people will have greater access to print material from around the world-and in a variety of languages.

"It was an honour for Canada to be the first G7 country to formally join the Treaty. It is a game changer for people living with visual impairments and print disabilities. Thanks to Canada's leadership, they will have greater access to information, literature and knowledge, enabling them to fully participate in our economy and society." - The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

  • The Marrakesh Treaty, an international treaty administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization, was adopted in Marrakesh in 2013.
  • It establishes standardized exemptions to copyright laws, allowing people to reproduce copyright-protected works in accessible formats and to import or export them.
  • On June 30, 2016, Canada became the 20th country to join the Treaty.

Related Information:

  1. Canadian Library Program Helps Persons with Print Disabilities Access Reading Material - Public libraries across Canada are enabling people with print disabilities to access literature like never before - CNIB
  2. UBC Press Becomes First Canadian Publisher to Partner with Bookshare - The University of British Columbia Press (UBC Press) has entered into an agreement with Bookshare granting world rights to its collection - University of British Columbia
  3. Accessible Publications for Individuals with Print Disabilities - Publishers to increase accessible materials for individuals with print disabilities - Benetech


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