Legislation will improve access to copyrighted materials for visually impaired and print-disabled Canadians
June 23, 2016 – Ottawa – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Canadians who are visually impaired or print disabled will have better access to books and other copyrighted materials. The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, today announced that the Act to Amend the Copyright Act (access to copyrighted works or other subject-matter for persons with perceptual disabilities) has received royal assent.
The amendments to the Copyright Act enable Canada to be among the first countries in the world to accede to the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.
By bringing the country's copyright law in line with the Treaty, Canada has shown leadership in ensuring a wider availability of books and other materials for Canadians with visual impairments and print disabilities.
"I am proud that this legislation is coming into force. Improving access to books and other copyrighted materials for the visually impaired and print disabled is a priority for our government. I am pleased that, with the passage of this legislation, Canada is leading by example in making the world a more accessible place."– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
"I am honoured that our government is standing up for Canadians with disabilities. With the Act coming into force, Canadians with print disabilities will have more equitable access to alternative-format published materials and will benefit from greater accessibility and opportunities in their communities and workplaces."– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
"I am proud that the government has taken action to ensure that visually impaired and print-disabled persons have access to the latest and best published materials from around the world. This legislation will allow Canadians to participate fully and actively in our society, and it will contribute to the development of our inclusive economy."– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage
"CNIB is thrilled Bill C-11, which implements the Marrakesh Treaty, has received royal assent. This is an important milestone for Canadians with vision loss and other print disabilities. Access to literature is a human right and the Marrakesh Treaty will provide greater access to published literature in alternate formats, unlocking opportunities for education and employment and providing equal access to all Canadians."– Diane Bergeron, Executive Director, Strategic Relations and Engagement, CNIB
- The Marrakesh Treaty, an international treaty administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization, was adopted in Marrakesh in 2013.
- It establishes standardized exemptions to copyright laws, allowing people to reproduce copyright-protected works in accessible formats and to import or export them.
- Once 20 countries have joined, the Marrakesh Treaty will come into effect. As of June 23, 2016, 17 countries have ratified or acceded to the Treaty.
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