Ensuring Equality: IFLA Submits Comments to New Zealand Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Consultation
08 February 2019
Following a call for comments by the government of New Zealand Te Aotearoa on draft legislation designed to implement the Marrakesh Treaty, IFLA has made a submission. This highlights the need to reject provisions that go beyond what the Treaty requires, and to respect the fundamental principle of non-discrimination.
With fifty states parties (including the European Union as one bloc), there is significant momentum towards universal Marrakesh Treaty coverage. The Treaty removes copyright-related barriers which have helped create the 'book famine' – the major shortage of books in formats accessible for people with print disabilities.
Now, New Zealand Te Aotearoa is looking to pass the necessary legislation to implement the Treaty. A draft law has been published, with stakeholders invited to make submissions.
IFLA's response welcomes the move by the government of New Zealand Te Aotearoa to make Marrakesh a reality. There are some positive steps, including the expansion of the definition of which organisations can make use of the Treaty's provisions, and no obligations to make supplementary payments in order to make and share accessible format works.
However, the current text still introduces a number of administrative requirements that go beyond the Treaty, and would leave libraries with less time to provide services to people who need them.
In particular, the IFLA submission argues that the rules for making and sharing copies of works for people with print disabilities should not be greater than those for making or sharing books or articles for anyone else.
We look forward to a revised version of the draft law which takes account of these comments.