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Copyright Resources: Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act

What is the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act?

The Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act builds on the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. The major goal of the Implementation Act is to modify and amend United States copyright laws to make it easier for people with print disabilities to access materials.

The types of works that can be made accessible were expanded exponentially because of the Marrakesh Act. All literary works and musical works in the form of text or notation are included.

To read more about the Marrakesh Treaty, see the "More Resources" section.

Marrakesh Treaty Guidelines

The Act clarifies who is covered under the new amendment including:

  • Someone who is blind
  • Someone with a "visual impairment or perceptual or reading disability" which makes them unable to read printed words "to substantially the same degree as a person without an impairment or disability."
  • Someone with a physical disability making them unable to hold or manipulate a book or focus or move their eyes to read.

In order to be an "eligible person" the condition must be "determined by a competent authority possessing experience in making such determination."

While only three, broad condition are listed in the law, many organizations provide their services to those whose disability may fall outside of the listed conditions.

The disability does not have to be permanent. Temporary disabilities can benefit from the Act as long as the condition persists.

The Marrakesh Act does not mandate that all organizations and/or institutions provide accessible formats. 

The formats these materials can be provided in can be any form that "allows an eligible person to have access to a work that is equivalent to a person without a disability." It is no longer limited to braille or audio recordings.

Fordham University Disability Services Office

For more information about Fordham's Disability Services, please email disabilityservices@fordham.edu or see below for the location of your campus' office below. More information can be found here on the Disability Services website.

Rose Hill
441 East Fordham Road
O’Hare Hall, Lower Level
Bronx, NY 10458
Phone: 718-817-0655
Fax: 718-817-0888

Lincoln Center
113 West 60th St.
Lowenstein 408
New York, NY 10023
Phone: 212-636-6282
Fax: 718-817-0888

Westchester
400 Westchester Ave,
West Harrison, NY 10604
Phone: 718-817-0655
Fax: 718-817-0888

Implementation

When implementing the Marrakesh Act, please make sure you abide by the following rules:

  • Only serve eligible persons
  • Limit distribution of the accessible format to those eligible persons
  • Discourage any further reproductions and distribution of the material
  • Be conscious of handling copies of the works and recording copies of the works created by the authorized entity. 
  • Respect the privacy of the eligible persons
  • Make the titles of the accessible format materials publicly available
  • Make information on policies and practices, as well as overseas authorized partners publicly available

Works Covered Under Treaty:

  • Books
  • E-Books
  • Audiobooks
  • Newspapers
  • Journals
  • Musical scores
  • Illustrations
  • Images

Works Not Covered Under Treaty:

  • Audio-visual works
    • Films
    • Television programs
    • Slide-tape
    • Live theater productions

More Resources