January 27, 2022

Reference: Accessibility: “International Publishers Association Guide to the Marrakesh Treaty”

Although the new guide (linked below) from the International Publishers Association (IPA) was written for members of the organization, the library community might also find it a useful resource.

From an IPA E-Mail:

2016-12-16_09-35-30The IPA commissioned theIPA Guide to the Marrakesh Treaty from its Basel-based legal counsel, Carlo Scollo Lavizzari, who was immersed in the Treaty process from the outset, in 2003. He was supported in the endeavour by Quy Tran, an advocate working with Lavizzari’s firm, Lenz Caemmerer. The guide is freely available on the IPA website as a downloadable PDF, and will be followed by interactive and accessible format versions in 2017.

In its introduction, the Guide reads:

It is sometimes said that the character of a society or community is best measured by how it treats its most vulnerable members. If that is a plausible standard, then let us one day value the publishing industry by how it engaged to help empower those readers who are blind and print disabled…

…The Guide hopes to help identify, remove, overcome or work around all or some of the barriers, whether legal, technical, workflow, design, habit, social, psychological, collective or individual, which result in literature that is easily available to sighted readers not being equally available to visually impaired and print disabled readers.

The 43-page document also provides the background to the Treaty’s creation, unpicks key terminology and jargon and provides a detailed breakdown of its legal provisions. Importantly, the guide also defines the Treaty’s relevance in terms of the existing international copyright system and lays out its likely impacts on publishers.

IPA Secretary General José Borghino said: ‘In an ideal world, all literary works would be available and discoverable to sighted and print disabled readers at the same time and price. Thanks to great strides in collaboration among all in the information chain, from author to reader, and thanks to advances in technology, this could become reality sooner than some may imagine.

‘The IPA Guide gives our members — national publishers associations — and the publishers they represent, excellent advice on how to honour the Treaty’s provisions and contribute fully to tackling the “book famine” suffered by blind, visually impaired and print disabled people.’

Direct to the Full Text (43 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.