A crucial moment in the implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty in Brazil is approaching, with a consultation on implementing regulations closing tomorrow. Libraries are active in calling for this to respect international best practice and respect the spirit of the Treaty.

Brazil was one of the first countries to sign and ratify the Marrakesh Treaty, even before it entered into force globally. The country was also a leader in pressing for the Treaty’s agreement in the first place.

The country is now in the process of finalising its own national laws in order to make a reality of access. This brings the potential to remove unnecessary copyright-related barriers to access to knowledge for people with print disabilities.

As part of this, there have been extensive debates among professional of various sectors, in particular through a working group to discuss relevant regulations and their implementation, organized by the Secretariat for Copyright and Intellectual Property (SDAPI) between October and December 2019.

The Brazilian Library Association, FEBAB, has been strongly representing the interests of libraries and their users, reaffirming its commitment in defense of libraries, library users and other information institutions and enforcing the broad and unrestricted access to all.

Latest Developments

Following the preparation of draft texts, a consultation is currently taking place, with a deadline of 24 July.

A particular question is whether Brazil should oblige people with print disabilities and the institutions that support them to check whether accessible format copies are available on the market before making or sharing them.

IFLA and partner organizations have long argued against the inclusion of such proposals. Indeed, among those countries which have legislated to implement the Marrakesh Treaty, 79% of countries[i] that have taken a decision on commercial availability decided to not include it (34 have ruled the commercial availability out, 9 countries have decided to implement it, while 49 countries have yet to adapt their national rules).

FEBAB has shared its concerns via a statement on this topic, underlining the risk that it will weaken the goals of the Marrakesh Treaty:

1 – Difficulty in defining universally what is a “work in accessible format”.
2 – Difficulty in defining what “reasonable access conditions” would be.
3 – The spirit of the Treaty is not the formation of a market, but the guarantee of a right.
4 – The clause would create insecurity in delivering the main promise of the Treaty, which is cross-border exchange.
5 – The absence of this clause does not affect the Berne Convention’s Three-Step Rule,  as already established in Footnote n. 5 of the Marrakesh Treaty itself.

FEBAB has been very active in mobilising librarians, information professionals and other interested third parties to participate within this open call. Its Copyright and Open Access Brazilian Committee (CBDA3) launched several campaigns on social media, webinars and discussion groups.

Discover IFLA’s guide to start with the Marrakesh Treaty, adapted and translated by FEBAB in Portuguese.



[i] The Marrakesh Treaty Implementation, March 2020, update