On June 8, 2015, the Support for Canadians with Print Disabilities Act (Bill C-65) was introduced in Canada’s House of Commons. Bill C-65 contains amendments that would modify the Copyright Act to prepare for implementation of and accession to the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled. The amendments in Bill C-65 include permitting creation of large-print books as an accessible format, removing certain restrictions on export of accessible works, and improving the exception to permit circumvention of technological measures to create accessible formats.
The Marrakesh Treaty is intended to promote the making and distribution of copies of books and other published materials in formats accessible to people with print disabilities, and to allow for cross-border sharing of these formats. Introduction of Bill C-65 is a key first step in Canada acceding to the Marrakesh Treaty. The treaty currently has eight ratifications and will need twelve more for entry into force. In the United States, the Obama Administration has been working on preparing its ratification package but has not yet submitted the package to Congress.
For more information about the Support for Canadians with Print Disabilities Act (Bill C-65), see the June 10 ARL Policy Notes blog post, “Bill to Amend Canada’s Copyright Act in Preparation for Accession to the Marrakesh Treaty Tabled in the House of Commons.”