Venezuela and New Zealand Join Marrakesh Treaty

Marrakesh TreatyWIPO Director General Francis Gurry welcomed Venezuela and New Zealand to the Marakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.

The WIPO-administered Marrakesh Treaty makes the production and international transfer of specially-adapted books for people with blindness or visual impairments easier. It sets a norm for countries ratifying the treaty to have a domestic copyright exception covering these activities and allowing for the import and export of such materials.

This means that countries which ratify the treaty must ensure their laws allow blind people and their organisations to make accessible format books without the need to ask permission first from the holder of copyright.

The Treaty was signed in Marrakesh on June 27, 2013, and came into force on September 30, 2016. India was the first country to ratify the treaty on 24 July 2014.

All WIPO member states are eligible to become party to the Marrakesh Treaty. To become a member, a state must deposit an “instrument” declaring its intention with the Director General of WIPO. This instrument must be signed by the Head of State, the Head of Government or the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Source: World Intellectual Property Organization