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The International Publishers Association (IPA) has released a comprehensive guide to help world publishers better understand their responsibilities under the Marrakesh Treaty for visually impaired and other print disabled people who are unable to use standard format books.

The IPA commissioned the IPA Guide to the Marrakesh Treaty (click here for accessibly formatted version or the EPUB 3 versionfrom its Basel-based legal counsel, Carlo Scollo Lavizzari (pictured), who was immersed in the treaty process from the outset, in 2003. He was supported in the endeavour by Quy Tran, an advocate working with Lavizzari’s firm, Lenz Caemmerer. The guide is freely available on the IPA website as a downloadable PDF, and will be followed by interactive and accessible format versions in 2017.


“Let us one day value the publishing industry by how it engaged to help empower
readers who are blind and print disabled.”

IPA Guide to the Marrakesh Treaty

In its introduction, the guide reads:

It is sometimes said that the character of a society or community is best measured by how it treats its most vulnerable members. If that is a plausible standard, then let us one day value the publishing industry by how it engaged to help empower those readers who are blind and print disabled...

...The Guide hopes to help identify, remove, overcome or work around all or some of the barriers, whether legal, technical, workflow, design, habit, social, psychological, collective or individual, which result in literature that is easily available to sighted readers not being equally available to visually impaired and print disabled readers.

The 43-page document also provides the background to the Treaty’s creation, unpicks key terminology and jargon and provides a detailed breakdown of its legal provisions. Importantly, the guide also defines the Treaty’s relevance in terms of the existing international copyright system and lays out its likely impacts on publishers.

“The IPA Guide gives ... excellent advice on how to honour the Treaty’s provisions
and contribute to tackling the book famine.”

IPA Secretary General, José Borghino 

IPA Secretary General José Borghino said: ‘In an ideal world, all literary works would be available and discoverable to sighted and print disabled readers at the same time and price. Thanks to great strides in collaboration among all in the information chain, from author to reader, and thanks to advances in technology, this may become reality sooner than some may imagine.

‘The IPA Guide gives our members — national publishers associations — and the publishers they represent, excellent advice on how to honour the Treaty’s provisions and contribute fully to tackling the “book famine” suffered by blind, visually impaired and print disabled people.’

In case you missed them in the article, here are the links again: DOWNLOAD the IPA Guide to the Marrakesh Treaty
                                                                                                 DOWNLOAD the Accessibly formatted IPA Guide to the Marrakesh Treaty

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