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

On 23 June 2014 the Australian Government signed the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled.

This treaty will give people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled greater access to works published in accessible formats, such as print, braille and audio.

An estimated 285 million people with vision impairments around the world will benefit from this treaty as it is designed to break down legal barriers that once limited the flow of accessible format literature across borders.

The treaty will allow exceptions to copyright law to enable organisations to produce and distribute books and other materials in formats that are accessible to people with visual impairment. The exceptions will only be used when books in accessible format are unavailable.

Australia is now one of more than 60 signatories to the treaty, including the United States and United Kingdom. The Australian Government will now work to bring forward the treaty for ratification through the Federal Parliament.

The treaty is available in a range of formats from the World Intellectual Property Organization website.