11 June 2013

Joint Library Statement Urges WIPO Member States to Agree an Effective Treaty for Print Disabled People

Organisations representing library associations, library consortia, and professional librarians in over 150 countries urge WIPO Member States to agree an effective treaty for print disabled people.

After many years of negotiations a WIPO Diplomatic Conference to conclude a treaty to facilitate access to published works by visually impaired persons and persons with print disabilities is taking place in Marrakesh, Morocco from the 17th to the 28th of June 2013.

IFLA has been closely involved in the process and strongly supports an effective treaty that will increase access to information for visually impaired people. IFLA and the world’s leading library organisations have published a joint statement stressing the importance of a treaty in order for libraries to fulfill their role in facilitating access to works for visually impaired persons and persons with print disabilities.

A treaty will need to provide an effective international legal framework in order to serve print disabled people, and libraries that serve them. By ‘effective’ we mean an international legal framework that print disabled people, and libraries that serve them, are confident will provide practical national legislative solutions. This means that the treaty:

  • Ensures efficient cross-border transfer of works
  • Upholds the right to read for the world’s print disabled people – regardless of format
  • Recognises the role of libraries in providing access to accessible format works
  • Promotes the public interest as central to the balance in copyright law

The Diplomatic Conference in Marrakesh is an opportunity to ensure that another generation of visually impaired persons and persons with print disabilities is not deprived of the right to read. IFLA strongly urges WIPO Member States to make the most of the moment and conclude an effective treaty.

You can read the full statement here.

CLM (Committee on Copyright and other Legal Matters), Access to information, Access to knowledge, Copyright, Services to the visually impaired

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