November 26, 2015

WIPO Advances Toward Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Persons with Print Disabilities, Morocco To Host Conference

From a WIPO Announcement:

“Meeting in extraordinary session, the WIPO [World Intellectual Property Organization] General Assembly took a landmark decision today to convene a diplomatic conference in 2013 to complete negotiations on a pact to improve access to copyrighted works for the many visually impaired and people with print disabilities around the world. The General Assembly also expressed gratitude to Morocco for its offer to host the diplomatic conference.


While some countries have domestic legislation that grants limitations and exceptions for use of copyrighted works by visually impaired and people with print disabilities, there is a legal vacuum at the international level. Since 2004, WIPO’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) has been considering whether certain limitations and exceptions should be harmonized internationally. WIPO’s General Assembly today decided that discussions relating to a future treaty to benefit visually impaired and people with print disabilities are sufficiently advanced and mature to convene a diplomatic conference. The convening of a diplomatic conference signals entry into the final phase of treaty negotiations.

Some 300 million blind or visually impaired people around the world stand to benefit from a more flexible copyright regime adapted to current technological realities. Individuals with reading impairment often need to convert information into Braille, large print, audio, electronic and other formats using assistive technologies. Only a very small percentage of published books around the world are available in formats accessible to the visually impaired.

Complete Announcement (w/ Links and Full Text of GA Decision)

Hat Tip/Thanks: Knowledge Economy International/Jamie Love

See Also: National Federation of the Blind Applauds U.S. Support for Legally Binding International Instrument to Put More Accessible Books in the Hands of the Blind Worldwide

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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