Marrakesh Treaty will give a better access to books for blind & other disabled people
The Commission welcomes tonight's political compromise on EU copyright proposal law to implement the Marrakesh Treaty which will help millions of blind and other print disabled people to get better access to books.
The negotiators of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have reached tonight a compromise on draft legislation to implement the Marrakesh Treaty in the European Union. The objective of the proposals, made by the Commission as part of the ongoing modernisation of the EU copyright law, is to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, have other visual impairments or are otherwise print disabled. The deal will be now subject to the formal approval by the two EU co-legislators.
Following the political compromise, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip yesterday said: " I am delighted that EU copyright rules will now be adapted to allow visually impaired and people with reading disabilities to access a wider range of reading material in the EU and in third countries that they can use for their education, work and entertainment. I am particularly pleased that our Digital Single Market strategy creates more social inclusion. And I am also confident that this compromise today will pave the way for a rapid ratification of the Marrakesh treaty by the EU”.
The adoption of the compromise between the EU institutions comes eight months after the Commission tabled the legislative proposals in September 2016, as part of the copyright proposals to modernise the EU copyright law and help create a truly functioning Digital Single Market. The deal will allow the implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty into EU law by introducing a mandatory, harmonised EU exception to copyright rules which will allow the making and dissemination, including across borders, within the EU and with third countries parties of the Marrakesh Treaty, of special formats of print material for people with print disabilities, such as braille or daisy.
Thanks to these new rules, people who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled within the European Union and from other countries will now be able to access more books and other print material in accessible formats, including adapted audio books and e-books, from across the European Union and the rest of the world.
Tonight's political compromise is another achievement under the Digital Single Market strategy. The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled was adopted at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in 2013. It provides for the cross-border exchange of copies under exceptions and limitations to copyright. It is considered an important instrument to fight the 'book famine'. It is estimated that only one to seven percent of books are available in accessible format across the world.
The compromised text agreed tonight by the EU negotiators must now be formally confirmed by the European Parliament and the Council.
The EU signed the Marrakesh Treaty in April 2014. In February this year, the Court confirmed the Commission's view, that EU has exclusive competence for the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty.
For More Information
- Nathalie VANDYSTADT (+32 2 296 70 83)
- Johannes BAHRKE (+32 2 295 86 15)
- Inga HOGLUND (+32 2 295 06 98)
Latest News from
European Semester Spring Package: Sustaining a green and sustainable recovery in the face of increased uncertainty24/05/2022 10:25:00
The European Commission's 2022 European Semester Spring Package provides Member States with support and guidance two years on from the first impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the midst of Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Commission (Eurostat) publishes 2022 report on Sustainable Development Goals in the European Union24/05/2022 09:25:00
Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, yesterday published the ‘Sustainable development in the European Union – 2022 monitoring report on progress towards the SDGs in an EU context', which provides a statistical overview of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the EU.
State aid: Commission approves €16 million Finnish scheme to support farmers in context of Russia's invasion of Ukraine23/05/2022 16:33:00
The European Commission has approved a €16 million Finnish scheme to support the agricultural sector in the context of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Hong Kong: EU report sees a continued deterioration of fundamental freedoms23/05/2022 15:25:00
The European Commission and the High Representative recently (20 May 2022) reported on political and economic developments in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Increased support for EU farmers through rural development funds23/05/2022 14:33:00
The European Commission proposed an exceptional measure funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) to allow Member States to pay a one-off lump sum to farmers and agri-food businesses affected by significant increases in input costs.
Macao: EU report highlights increasing challenges to political rights and fundamental freedoms23/05/2022 13:25:00
The European Commission and the High Representative recently (20 May 2022) reported on political and economic developments in the Macao Special Administrative Region, covering 2021.
EU disburses €600 million in Macro-Financial Assistance to Ukraine23/05/2022 12:38:00
The European Commission, on behalf of the EU, recently (20 May 2022) disbursed €600 million in Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) to Ukraine. Following Russia's unprovoked and unjustified invasion, this urgent financial support helps Ukraine address its acute financing gap related to its exceptional humanitarian and defence needs.
State aid: Commission approves €500 million Luxembourgish scheme to support companies in context of Russia's invasion of Ukraine23/05/2022 11:33:00
The European Commission has approved a €500 million Luxembourgish guarantee scheme to support companies across sectors in the context of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.