This post is from our Friend at the ALA Washington Office:
Advocacy Alert: Marrakesh Treaty
After many years of hard work, we are one step closer to seeing the Marrakesh Treaty implemented in the United States.
The Marrakesh Treaty is an international copyright treaty that was adopted by the World Intellectual Property Organization and signed by the U.S. in October 2013. It provides a copyright exception - the first ever in an international treaty - for libraries as authorized entities to make accessible copies of articles and books for people with print disabilities and distribute those copies across borders.
Right now, over 3.2 million people in the United States live with print disabilities that make it difficult for them to read print text. Moreover, less than 5% of published content is available to them. If the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act is passed the United States will be able to provide a wealth of new accessible content to Americans with print disabilities, including those who speak English as a second language. In many ways, this is a civil rights law. It affirms that access to information is a universal right for all people regardless of circumstance.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is set to vote on S. 2559 tomorrow. Please contact your Senator today and ask them to show their support for people with print disabilities by cosponsoring the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act (S. 2559).
Want to learn more? Read about it here.
ReadersFirst joins ALA in asking for action. We are committed to having e-books be as accessible as possible, and the Marrakesh Treaty would be most helpful in promoting this goal.