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Copyright and Library Services for the Visually Impaired

Copyright and Library Services for the Visually Impaired

The Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) has joined international library associations to support the development of a treaty for the visually impaired.

LIANZA recently became a signatory to a Joint Library Statement from the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), a document urging World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Member States to agree an effective treaty for print-disabled people.

The IFLA Statement was considered at a conference held in Marrakesh last month, and resulted in ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled.

Chair of LIANZA's Standing Committee on Copyright, Tony Millett says "The Marrakesh Treaty, five years in the making, marks a major step forward, protecting as it does the rights of users who are blind or print disabled, as well as facilitating services for them by organisations such as libraries".

"New Zealand copyright law regarding the visually impaired is currently woefully inadequate but the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty by the New Zealand Government would mean an improvement in services our libraries can offer the community."

LIANZA strongly supports the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty by the New Zealand Government, and hopes that implementing changes to our copyright law will follow in the near future.

Further information:

Marrakesh Treaty: http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/doc_details.jsp?doc_id=241683

Knowledge Ecology International press statement: http://keionline.org/node/1767

ENDS

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