News

HISTORIC WIPO TREATY

The end of the book famine!

4.7.2013

Currently, copyright law is a national jurisdiction which has the effect of preventing blind organizations form sharing books with neighbouring countries, thus causing considerable unnecessary duplication of production of books in accessible formats.

What does this mean for the visually impaired and other print disabled people? Currently only 5% of all published books in the developed countries and less than 1% in the developing countries are ever produced in the accessible formats - such as braille, large print and audio – that VI and print disabled need. At the centre of this treaty is an article giving permission for VI organisations and libraries to share their collections of accessible titles with other same-language communities around the world. Examples of this include Spain and Argentina being able to share their combined collections of over 150.000 titles right across Latin America as soon as the government of each recipient country ratifies and implements the treaty. Similarly, French language collections, Arabic collections, Chinese collections, etc., can be shared around the world to diaspora communities who cannot legally borrow or buy an accessible title from their homeland as of now.
Read the full press release here.
Read Dan Pescod's summary of the treaty and its implications on the WBU site here