Roundup: Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act Signed Into Law
Here’s a roundup of posts, statements and tweets (more to come).
From Krista Cox at ARL:
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) celebrates the signing of the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act by President Trump. Earlier this year, the US Senate unanimously ratified the Marrakesh Treaty and with the US House of Representatives passed the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act, S. 2559. As an organization dedicated to achieving enduring and barrier-free access to information, ARL welcomes this next step toward ratification and implementation.
The treaty currently has 41 contracting parties and entered into force on September 30, 2016, with Canada’s ratification. Countries from every region of the world, with varying levels of development, have ratified the treaty. Other countries are also moving toward ratification and the European Union is expected to complete its process for ratification later this year.
The MTIA amends section 121 of the Copyright Act, which has already established limitations and exceptions allowing certain authorized entities, like the Library of Congress’s National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, to provide published works in accessible formats to those who have print disabilities. The MTIA reinforces section 121’s mission and changes some of its key terms and definitions to comply with the text of the Marrakesh Treaty. For example, the term “blind or other persons with disabilities” is now “eligible persons,” which is then defined as someone who is blind, has a perceptual or reading disability, or has a physical disability affecting their ability to read.
The MTIA also adds a new section—121A—to the Copyright Act allowing authorized entities to both export and import works in accessible formats between the United States and other countries who have signed the Marrakesh Treaty. Finally, section 121A provides guidance to authorized entities engaged in exporting or importing on establishing and following certain practices and procedures. For a more detailed summary of what the MTIA does, please visit the Office’s FAQ.
From an Authors Alliance Statement
Authors Alliance Applauds U.S. Implementation Of The Marrakesh Treaty
In March 2018, a bipartisan coalition in Congress introduced a bill to implement the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. On September 26, Congress passed the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act, and today the Act has been signed into law by the President.
Read the Complete Statement
From a Benetech (Bookshare) Blog Post
Success! The United States Ratifies the Marrakesh Treaty
Through the invaluable set of relationships Bookshare has with over 850 publishers who give us titles that we convert into accessible formats for our members, we have been able to offer electronic books around the world. Over 450,000 books are available in almost every country, and each book is in multiple accessible formats including text-to-speech and braille, for a total of over 2,250,000 choices for what and how our members want to read. As of today, in countries that have already ratified the Marrakesh Treaty, we can expand Bookshare’s large library of publisher-granted titles that we make available to people with print disabilities.
Read the Complete Blog Post
From a Copyright Alliance Statement
Copyright Alliance Commends Supporters of Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act as It’s Signed into Law
The Copyright Alliance appreciates the tremendous outpouring of support that The Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act has received, including from the House and the Senate, as well as from the creative and publishing communities. As the legislation is enacted into law by the President, the U.S. will join 39 nations that have already ratified and implemented the Treaty.
Read the Complete Statement
From the National Federation of the Blind
We are thrilled to announce that President Trump has signed S. 2559, the “Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act,” into law. We urge the @StateDept to deposit the instrument of ratification with @WIPO soon. #MarrakeshTreaty
— National Federation of the Blind (@NFB_voice) October 10, 2018
See Also: S.2559 (via Congress.gov)
Text of legislation, history, co-sponsor.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.