India Becomes the first Country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled to the Director General of WIPO
(30 June 2014, Geneva)
At a ceremony organized by WIPO to celebrate the Anniversary of the Marrakesh VIP Treaty and the launch of the Accessible Books Consortium during the 28th session of Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) on 30 June 2014, the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, ShriDilip Sinha handed over the the Instrument of Ratification to the “Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled” to the Director General of WIPO.
India is,thus, the first country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty, which was adopted on June 27, 2013 at a Diplomatic Conference organized by WIPO and hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco in Marrakesh.India signed the Marrakesh Treaty on 30 April 2014 during the 27th session of SCCR. So far, 79WIPO member states have signed this Treaty.It will enter into force after the deposit of 20 instruments of ratification or accession by eligible parties.
The main goal of Marrakesh Treaty is to create a set of mandatory limitations and exceptions for the benefit of the blind, visually impaired and otherwise print disabled (VIPs). It addresses the “book famine” by requiring its contracting parties to adopt national law provisions that permit the reproduction, distribution and making available of published works in accessible formats to VIPs and to permit exchange of these works across borders by organizations that serve those beneficiaries.
Once the Marrakesh Treaty enters into force, it will facilitate access to published works for the millions of blind, visually impaired and otherwise print disabled personsin India, and would go a long way in establishing equal rights and opportunities for education and employment for them.
The Treaty will facilitate importation of accessible format copies from the member states by the Indian authorized entities such as educational institutions, libraries and other such institutions working for the benefit of visually impaired persons. This will also facilitate translation of imported accessible format copies and export of accessible format copies in Indian languages. The Indian Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012 is in harmony with the Marrakesh Treaty.