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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

EU decision will give visually impaired people worldwide the chance to enjoy books, says Green MEP

braille crop

6 July 2017

The European Parliament has today approved the final deal linked to the implementation of the Marrakesh treaty. This will make exceptions to some copyright rules for books, enabling them to be published in accessible format for people who are blind or visually impaired.

This move will also enable blind organisations and libraries in the EU to transfer these books across borders without any cost, helping to increase their availability in less developed countries. At present, just 5% of books in the EU and 1% worldwide are made in an accessible format.

Member States now have 12 months to implement this into law, with the deal hopefully becoming a reality in Autumn 2018. [1]

Jean Lambert, London’s Green MEP, says:

“I’m delighted that cross-party MEPs today voted overwhelmingly in favour of implementing the Marrakesh treaty. This decision will improve lives – giving millions of blind and visually impaired people worldwide the opportunity to enjoy books, whether though large print or braille, or the use of audio tools.

This treaty is a perfect example of the EU working well to make far-reaching, positive changes that cross borders – both within Europe, and in less developed countries. I now call on Member States to implement the act quickly, to allow these books to reach the people that need them without delay.”

Notes:

[1] https://www.greens-efa.eu/en/article/press/more-accessible-books-available-for-blind-and-visually-impaired-people/