The Right to Read: Impact of EIFL’S support for ratification and implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty for print-disabled people

EIFL’s contribution to ending the book famine for blind, visually impaired and otherwise print-disabled people

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May 2021

This brochure describes the impact of EIFL’s support for ratification and implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty for persons with print disabilities. It is an extract from EIFL’s 2020 Annual Report that features EIFL's work on the Marrakesh Treaty work in three  partner countries: Lithuania, Kyrgyzstan and Zimbabwe. 

The Marrakesh Treaty - full name, Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled - removes legal barriers to copying books and other copyright-protected works into accessible formats, and to sharing them across borders. 

EIFL actively supported the World Blind Union in negotiations at WIPO (the World Intellectual Property Organization) over more than five years that led to the adoption of the Marrakesh Treaty by WIPO member states in June 2013. Since then, EIFL has been working hard encouraging partner countries to ratify the treaty, raising awareness of the benefits of the treaty among librarians and policy-makers, supporting advocacy campaigns, organizing seminars, responding to government consultations on national implementation, and publishing specialist guides for librarians. This work led to 20 countries joining the treaty. In addition EIFL has made recommendations for amendments to national copyright laws for implementation of the treaty in 23 countries.