The fastest-ratifying treaty

At the recently celebrated General Assemblies, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)’s Director General Francis Gurry underlined the success of the Marrakesh treaty, which he says, “is moving at a rate that exceeds that of any other Treaty in this organisation”.

IFLA has reported on some of the latest developments of the Treaty, namely the European Union’s ratification of the instrument (more information on the WIPO website), and the adoption of legislation in the United States.

But more has happened since:

  • On 10 October, President Trump signed the US Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act: next step before effective ratification is for the State Department to deposit the instrument of ratification at WIPO.
  • On 2 October, Japan notified WIPO that it would also join the Marrakesh Treaty.
  • Marrakesh provisions are now applicable to all European member states: the European Union deposited the instrument of ratification on 1 October 2018, increasing the number of treaty ratifications to 70. Today, 12 October 2018, the deadline for European member states to adapt their law to the Marrakesh Directive has passed. Therefore, the Directive’s provisions are directly applicable, even in countries that have not transposed it on time.

Much more is likely to happen soon, as the recently-published overview on Marrakesh treaty implementation progress indicates.

Getting started” to guide you in the practical steps

Although progress on ratifications is very important, the goals of the Treaty will only be met if its provisions are used to their full potential. With this in mind, IFLA, with support of the World Blind Union, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, Electronic Information for Libraries, and the University of Toronto has recently launched the “Getting Started” guide.

The document, edited by Victoria Owen and members of IFLA’s Libraries Serving People with Print Disabilities, offers answers to frequently asked questions and is available in English, French, Spanish and Russian.

The guide is designed in a way that it can be adapted into national law. We encourage efforts to adapt it, and so to bring more knowledge within the country, and therefore more engagement, in how to use and benefit from the Treaty.