Last Updated on April 6, 2021, 5:00 pm ET
At last check-in in December, thirteen countries had ratified the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. Today, that number stands at sixteen, with the recent ratifications of Israel, North Korea and Peru. Australia, Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, India, Mali, Mexico, Mongolia, Paraguay, Singapore, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay ratified the treaty previously. The Marrakesh Treaty needs twenty ratifications to enter into force and will, in all likelihood, reach this threshold this year with several countries reportedly close to ratification.
The Marrakesh Treaty sets forth minimum standards for limitations and exceptions to facilitate access to accessible format works. It would also permit cross-border sharing of these accessible formats, allowing countries to avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts and resources in the creation of these accessible works. Additionally, the Treaty would facilitate importation of works created in other languages.
Bill C-65 in Canada was introduced in June in preparation for accession to the Marrakesh Treaty, but has not been voted on. The Obama Administration sent the Marrakesh Treaty to the U.S. Senate in February of this year, though it has not yet been scheduled for a hearing or vote.