We have talked on many occasions about the importance of respecting the Moral Rights and Patrimonial Rights of the Authors and the Holders of Related Rights. However, there are some limitations and exceptions to the use of works, provided that they do not prejudice or violate the prerogatives granted to authors and rightholders. In this area, there is a major international convention, known as the Marrakesh Treaty, whose purpose is to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise unable to access printed texts.
The Marrakech Treaty was adopted on 27 June 2013, and is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which highlights a set of mandatory limitations and exceptions to copyright for the benefit of blind people, with visual disabilities or other difficulties in accessing printed texts, which makes clear their HUMANITARIAN AND SOCIAL VISION.
The sixty-five contracting countries of the Marrakech Treaty are obliged to establish, within their domestic legal framework on copyright and related rights, limitations and exceptions to such rights, with the aim of enabling reproduction, the distribution and making available of published works but in formats accessible to people with different disabilities that interfere with the effective reading of printed works, that is, blind people, visually impaired people, with difficulty reading or with any physical disability that prevents them from holding and handling a book. In the same way, the countries parties should allow the cross-border exchange of such works by the organizations dedicated to the service of such persons, usually governmental entities, not for profit and authorized or recognized by their governments.
While the Marrakech Treaty seeks to bring works to persons with visual disabilities or with some difficulty in reading, it requires that copyright and related rights not be infringed with the limitations and exceptions imposed on them, by complying with the following three essential rules:
- Any exception or limitation imposed on copyright and related rights shall cover only certain special cases.
- Any exception or limitation imposed on copyright and related rights shall not prejudice the normal exploitation of the work.
- Any exception or limitation imposed on Copyright and Related Rights shall not cause unjustified prejudice to the legitimate interests of the rightholder.
As can be seen, the Marrakesh Treaty seeks a balance between copyright, related rights and access to works and culture by blind, visually impaired persons, with difficulty reading or with any physical disability that prevents them from holding and handling a book.
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