Regulation implementing the Marrakesh Treaty in the EU

 

SUMMARY OF:

Regulation (EU) 2017/1563 on the cross-border exchange between EU and non-EU countries of accessible format copies of certain works for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE REGULATION?

It sets out the rules for how works or other subject matter* in accessible format copies* are shared between the EU and non-EU countries that are party to the Marrakesh Treaty, for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled, and without needing copyright holder permission.

KEY POINTS

The Marrakesh Treaty

The Marrakesh Treaty requires countries who sign up to it to adopt national laws encouraging books to be produced in accessible formats, such as braille, e-text, audio or large print, aimed at people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled. These laws should also make it easier to share these items across national boundaries without needing authorisation by the copyright holder. The treaty was signed in 2013 and was ratified by the EU on 1 October 2018. The EU became a party to the treaty on 1 January 2019.

This regulation

An EU country authorised entity* is permitted to make available to beneficiary persons*, or to any authorised entities in non-EU countries which are party to the treaty, accessible versions of books or other written materials allowed by Directive (EU) 2017/1564, the directive implementing the Marrakesh Treaty in the EU, and these items may also be imported and used by such persons or entities.

An authorised entity must:

Review

By 11 October 2023, the European Commission will evaluate the regulations’s operation and report to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee, with proposals for amending the regulation, where appropriate.

FROM WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?

It has applied since 12 October 2018.

BACKGROUND

For more information, see:

KEY TERMS

Work or other subject matter: a book, journal, newspaper, magazine or other kind of writing, notation, including sheet music, and related illustrations, in any media, including in audio form such as audiobooks and in digital format, which is protected by copyright or related rights and which is published or made publicly available.
Accessible format copy: a copy of a work in a form that gives a beneficiary person access as feasibly and comfortably as a person without any of the impairments or disabilities covered by this directive.
Authorised entity: an entity authorised or recognised by a country to provide education, training, adaptive reading or information access to beneficiary persons on a non-profit basis.
Beneficiary person: a person who is blind, has a visual impairment, or a perceptual or reading disability and is unable to read printed works to the same degree as a person without such an impairment, or is unable to hold or manipulate a book or to focus or move their eyes to the extent normally acceptable for reading.

MAIN DOCUMENT

Regulation (EU) 2017/1563 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 September 2017 on the cross-border exchange between the Union and third countries of accessible format copies of certain works and other subject matter protected by copyright and related rights for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled (OJ L 242, 20.9.2017, pp. 1-5)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Council Decision (EU) 2018/254 of 15 February 2018 on the conclusion on behalf of the European Union of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled (OJ L 48, 21.2.2018, pp. 1-2)

Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled (OJ L 48, 21.2.2018, pp. 3-11)

Directive (EU) 2017/1564 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 September 2017 on certain permitted uses of certain works and other subject matter protected by copyright and related rights for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled and amending Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society (OJ L 242, 20.9.2017, pp. 6-13)

Council Decision 2014/221/EU of 14 April 2014 on the signing, on behalf of the European Union, of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled (OJ L 115, 17.4.2014, p. 1-2)

last update 21.03.2019