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EU COPYRIGHT LAW

A Commentary

IRINI STAMATOUDI, PAUL TORREMANS

This significantly revised and updated second edition addresses the rapid development of EU copyright law in relation to the advancement of new technologies, the need for a borderless digital market and the considerable number of EU legal instruments enacted as a result. Taking a comparative approach, the Commentary provides comprehensive coverage and in-depth commentary on each of the EU legal instruments and policies, both from an EU and an international perspective. Alongside full legislative analysis and article-by-article commentary, the Commentary illustrates the underlying basic principles of free movement and non-discrimination and provides insights into the influence of copyright on other areas of EU policy, including telecoms and bilateral trade agreements.
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Chapter 16: THE MARRAKESH TREATY ON CERTAIN PERMITTED USES FOR THE BENEFIT OF BLIND, VISUALLY IMPAIRED AND PRINT-DISABLED PERSONS

Raquel Xalabarder

Extract

The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled (hereinafter MT) was adopted by the WIPO Member States on 27 June 2013, to improve access to books and other printed works for persons with print disabilities. The Marrakesh Treaty entered into force on 30 September 2016 - three months after achieving 20 ratification instruments on 30 June 2016. As of May 2020, 65 countries have ratified the Marrakesh Treaty. It is open to any WIPO Member State or other intergovernmental organizations authorized by its Assembly of Contracting Parties; there is no requirement to be a member of any other international copyright treaty in order to join the Marrakesh Treaty. Worldwide, there are more than 285 million blind and visually impaired persons (hereinafter VIP), 90 per cent of whom live in developing countries. According to the World Blind Union (WBU), less than 5 per cent of books published every year worldwide are made available in formats accessible to VIPs, and, overall, less than 10 per cent of all published materials can be read by blind or VIPs. This is commonly referred to as the ‘global book famine’. The lack of books in accessible formats becomes a real obstacle for VIPs to getting an education, diminishing their chances of getting a job and leading an independent life. Human rights play a fundamental role in justifying the need for this Treaty.

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