Proposed regulation to fulfil obligations under Marrakesh Treaty by EU

The purpose of the proposed Regulation is to implement the Union’s obligations under the Marrakesh Treaty in respect of the exchange of accessible format copies between the Union and third countries that are parties to the Marrakesh Treaty, for the benefit of beneficiary persons.

The Treaty requires the parties to provide exceptions or limitations to copyright and related rights for the benefit of blind, visually impaired and otherwise print disabled persons and allows for the cross-border exchange of special format copies of books, including audio books, and other print material among the countries that are parties to the Treaty.

The objectives of this Regulation (de) are to implement the obligations in the Marrakesh Treaty with respect to the export and import of accessible format copies for the benefit of beneficiary persons between the Union and third countries that are parties to the Marrakesh Treaty, and to lay down the conditions for such export and import. Such measures may only be taken at Union level as the exchange of accessible format copies of works and other subject-matter concerns the commercial aspects of intellectual property. A Regulation is the only appropriate instrument.

Regulation allows the import of accessible format copies made in accordance with the Marrakesh Treaty in third countries that are parties to the Treaty, for the benefit of beneficiary persons in the Union. Both beneficiary persons and authorised entities established in the Union should be able to obtain such copies and those copies should be able to circulate in the internal market under the same conditions as accessible format copies made in the Union in accordance with the national provisions adopted pursuant to Directive.

The Regulation should ensure that accessible format copies of books, journals, newspapers, magazines and other writings, sheet music and other print material, which have been made in any Member State in accordance with the national provisions adopted pursuant to Directive, may be exported to third countries that are parties to the Marrakesh Treaty. Accessible formats include Braille, large print, adapted e-books, audio books and radio broadcasts. The distribution, communication or making available of accessible format copies to print disabled persons or to authorised entities in the third country should only be carried out on a non-profit basis by authorised entities established in the Union.

In order to improve the availability of accessible format copies and to prevent the illegal dissemination of works and other subject-matter, authorised entities which engage in the distribution or making available of accessible format copies should comply with certain obligations.

No sooner than five years after the date of application, the Commission shall carry out an evaluation of this Regulation and present the main findings to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee, accompanied, where appropriate, by proposals for the amendment of this Regulation. Member States shall provide the Commission with the necessary information for the preparation of the evaluation report.