Understanding the Marrakesh Treaty

At the ALA Annual Conference, ASGCLA’s President, Adan Szczepaniak presents Understanding the Marrakesh Treaty – Implications and Implementation for Librarians as the ASGCLA President’s Program on Saturday, June 22, 2019 from 1:00-2:00pm.

The number of foreign language Braille books and audiobooks in the United States has historically been low, but that’s all about to change. The Marrakesh Treaty is about making it easier for people with print disabilities to access printed works in accessible formats such as Braille and audio, by establishing rules for exchanging accessible formats across borders.

The Marrakesh Treaty is now the law in the United States! On October 10, 2018, President Trump signed the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act, joining over 90 countries who have also implemented the Marrakesh Treaty. Find out how this impacts you and your patrons!

The creation of Braille and audiobooks for people with print disabilities is governed by law, so historically varied from country to country and only applied to books covered by that countries’ copyright laws. That limited the number of world language books available – what was made for someone who was print disabled in France, for instance, was not necessarily available for the person with print disabilities in Portugal. This has all changed with the Marrakesh Treaty, aimed at making these accessible books available across borders.

The Marrakesh Treaty originally adopted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) requires nations who have ratified the treaty to create limitations and exceptions to copyright law that will make it easier for those print disabilities to access printed works in accessible formats such as Braille and digital audio files and to establishes rules for the exchange of such accessible format copies across borders.

Speakers:

Elizabeth Burns, Head of Reader Services
Talking Book & Braille Center (TBBC)
New Jersey State Library

Karen Keninger, Director
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS)
Library of Congress

Luz Sanchez, Spanish Outreach Coordinator
Talking Book & Braille Center (TBBC)
New Jersey State Library

Nancy Weiss, General Counsel
United States Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

 

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