Marrakesh Treaty

Bill C-65, entitled “An Act to amend the Copyright Act (access to copyrighted works or other subject-matter for persons with perceptual disabilities)” has been introduced to implement the Marrakesh Treaty.

The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled (WIPO) was adopted in 2013 to provide access to copyright protected work for the visually impaired (see earlier post). The treaty will come into force once it has been ratified by 20 countries (currently 8 have ratified).

Bill C-65 (text) would amend the Copyright Act to modify sections 32, 32.01, 41.16 and adds new section 32.02 to provide certain exceptions from infringement for people with a perceptual disability and non-profit organizations acting for the benefit of such people.

Other amendments to the Copyright Act are pending in Bill C-59, the budget implementation bill. To come into force, both bills will need to pass parliament before the session ends, likely at the end of June.

[Update: Bill C-65 did not pass before the House of Commons adjourned for the summer on June 19th so will need to be re-introduced before it becomes law.]