The number of foreign language Braille books and audiobooks in the United States has historically been low, but that’s all about to change. The Marrakesh Treaty is now the law in the US! On October 10, 2018, President Trump signed the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act, joining over 90 countries who have also implemented the Marrakesh Treaty. The Marrakesh Treaty is about making it easier for people with print disabilities to access printed works in accessible formats such as Braille and audio, by establishing rules for exchanging accessible formats across borders. Find out how this impacts you and your patrons!
The creation of Braille and audiobooks for people with print disabilities is governed by law, so historically varied from country to country and only applied to books covered by that countries’ copyright laws. That limited the number of world language books available – what was made for someone who was print disabled in France, for instance, was not necessarily available for the person with print disabilities in Portugal. This has all changed with the Marrakesh Treaty, aimed at making these accessible books available across borders.
The Marrakesh Treaty originally adopted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) requires nations who have ratified the treaty to create limitations and exceptions to copyright law that will make it easier for those print disabilities to access printed works in accessible formats such as Braille and digital audio files and to establishes rules for the exchange of such accessible format copies across borders.
On October 10, 2018 Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act was signed into law by President Donald Trump. This program will examine the treaty in detail and how its implementation will impact libraries in the United States.
The US is now preparing the documents to present to WIPO to formally accede to the treaty
India was the first country to ratify the treaty on 24 July 2014. As of October 15, 2018, 80 countries have signed the Treaty and 71 states have ratified it including the European Union, which represents 28 member states who ratified as one entity.
Over 350,000 accessible titles are already available in the Accessible Books Consortium, which is a public-private partnership led by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). American Library Association (ALA) President Loida Garcia-Febo said, “Passage of the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act will exponentially increase the availability of accessible reading materials to Americans and people around the world with print disabilities. And libraries everywhere are excited to finally get to deliver all this new content to our patrons.”
The speakers on this panel will address the current need for world language materials in the United States and how the Marrakesh Treaty will be implemented to make those materials available to your patrons with print disabilities.
ALA Unit/Subunit: ASGCLA
Meeting Type: President's Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.