Tanzania: House Ratifies Treaty Linked to the Blind


PARLIAMENT yesterday ratified the Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to Published Works for Persons who are blind or visually impaired.

Minister for Industry and Trade Mr Innocent Bashungwa tabled the treaty which aims to clear humanitarian and social development dimension and create a set of mandatory limitations and exceptions for the benefit of the blind, visually impaired, and otherwise print disabled.

The treat provides a crucial legal framework for adoption of national copyright exceptions in countries that lack them as well as creating an international import/export regime for the exchange of accessible books across borders.

Mr Bashungwa said of mindful of the challenges that are prejudicial to the complete development of persons with visual impairments or with other print disabilities, the treat wants to grant their choice, their enjoyment of the right to education and the opportunity to conduct research.

Aware of the barriers of persons with visual impairments or with other print disabilities to access published works in achieving equal opportunities in society, he said, there was a need to both expand the number of works in accessible formats and to improve the circulation of such works.

“Taking into account that the majority of persons with visual impairments or with other print disabilities live in developing and least-developed countries, there’s a need to endorse the treaty,” he said.

The treaty states that despite the differences in national copyright laws, the positive impact of new information and communication technologies on the lives of persons with visual impairments or with other print disabilities may be reinforced by an enhanced legal framework at the international level.

Thus, recognizing that many member states have established limitations and exceptions in their national copyright laws for persons with visual impairments or with other print disabilities, there is a continuing shortage of available works in accessible format copies for such persons.

Moreover, he said, considerable resources are required for their effort of making works accessible to these persons, and that the lack of possibilities of cross-border exchange of accessible format copies has necessitated duplication of these efforts.

Aware on the importance of right holders’ role in making their works accessible to persons with visual impairments or with other print disabilities, there was a need to make works accessible to these persons, particularly when the market is unable to provide such access.

The treat wants to maintain a balance between the effective protection of the rights of authors and the larger public interest, particularly education, research and access to information, and that such a balance must facilitate effective and timely access to works for the benefit of persons with visual impairments or with other print disabilities.

Aware of the barriers of persons with visual impairments or with other print disabilities to access published works in achieving equal opportunities in society, the treaty calls for the need to both expand the number of works in accessible formats and to improve the circulation of such works.

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Publish date : 2019-09-12 06:22:04

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