The Treaty of Marrakesh was adopted back in 2013 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) (noted here). The Treaty gives access to published works for the blind, visually impaired or persons with print difficulties. Before the Treaty, surveys showed that “less than sixty countries contemplated in their national copyright law, clauses relating to special limitations and exceptions for people suffering from visual impairment.”
The report submitted in Chile acknowledged that national copyright laws when covering the ‘exceptions’, they do “not apply to the import or export of works converted in accessible formats, which meant that organizations linked to people experiencing visual impairment of each country must negotiate licenses with rights holders so as to enable cross-border exchange of works in special formats or produce their own materials, which implies high costs that ultimately limit the access of people experiencing visual disability.” The news continues to establish that:
The Treaty of Marrakesh is the first international intellectual property instrument that addresses the problem of cross-border exchange of works that have copyright protection, incorporating explicit rules concerning the import and export of accessible copies. Thus, once a work is converted to an accessible format in a country, to the recipient on this people, that copy may be exported to other countries.
These measures seek to reduce the costs associated with the production and distribution of copies in accessible formats, eliminating or at least reducing transaction costs associated with the protection of copyright works and expanding the potential target, which is expected impact on lower total costs, favouring especially to beneficiaries residing in developing countries.
In Chile the catalogue of works available for people who are in this situation counts to only 5% of published works in the world.