Good news for blind and visually challenged people everywhere: Canada has become the 20th signatory of the Marrakesh Treaty, the WIPO Treaty on Copyright Exceptions for the Visually Impaired. This means that the treaty, approved in June 2013, can now enter into force.
This is good news, but the absence up to now of so many countries that are major producers of print materials is a sad commentary on the on-going struggle for access to prevail over commercial self-interest. For the record, the countries that have ratified the Treaty to date are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, South Korea, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, Israel, Mali, Mexico, Mongolia, Paraguay, Peru, North Korea, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Uruguay. Where is Europe? Where is the USA? Where is South Africa?
For more information and background see Denise Nicholson’s blog post on the African Lii (African legal information) site, which participates in the free access to law movement.