Canada Accedes to Marrakesh Treaty, Improves Access for Persons with Perceptual Disabilities

[Update 2016.06.30: Please note that WIPO issued a statement today confirming that Canada is the 20th nation to accede to the Marrakesh Treaty, which means that the Treaty will come into force September 30, 2016.]

OTTAWA, June 29, 2016 – The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) commends the Government of Canada’s commitment to inclusion in allowing Canada to accede to the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced yesterday that the Act to Amend the Copyright Act (access to copyrighted works or other subject-matter for persons with perceptual disabilities) has received royal assent, allowing Canada to be among the first 20 countries to accede to the Marrakesh Treaty. The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled is designed to ease restrictions that prevent those with perceptual disabilities from materials in accessible formats. Notably, this amendment permits the removal of technological restrictions (digital locks) on e-books for the benefit of the blind and visually impaired.

CARL has long been advocating for equitable access to published works, and is pleased to be working alongside the former Canadian Library Association (CLA),  and the new Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA) to represent the library community’s views, including our opportunity to meet with the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce to discuss this amendment. We look forward to continued dialogue to ensure equitable access to information for all Canadians.

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CARL includes Canada’s twenty-nine largest university libraries as well as Library and Archives Canada and NRC-Knowledge Management. Enhancing research and higher education is at the heart of our mission. CARL promotes effective and sustainable scholarly communication, and public policy that enables broad access to scholarly information.

 

For more information:

Susan Haigh, Executive Director
susan.haigh@carl-abrc.ca
613.482.9344 ext. 101