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Proposed amendments to Marrakesh EU directive

This Directive should provide for a mandatory exception to the rights that are harmonised by Union law and are relevant for the uses and works covered by the Marrakesh Treaty. Such rights include, in particular, the rights of reproduction, communication to the public, making available to the public, distribution and lending, as provided for in Directives 2001/29/EC, 2006/115/EC and 2009/24/EC, as well as the corresponding rights provided for in Directive 96/9/EC. As the scope of the exceptions or limitations required by the Marrakesh Treaty also includes works in audio form, like audiobooks, the mandatory exception provided for under this Directive should also apply to related rights.

The mandatory exception provided for in this Directive should limit the right of reproduction so as to allow for any act that is necessary in order to make changes to or convert or adapt a work or other subject-matter in such a way as to produce an accessible format copy that makes it possible for beneficiary persons to access that work or other subject-matter.

This includes providing the necessary means to navigate information in an accessible format copy. It also includes changes that might be required in cases in which the format of a work or of other subject-matter is already accessible to certain beneficiary persons while it might not be accessible for other beneficiary persons, due to different impairments or disabilities, or the different degree of such impairments or disabilities.

Accessible format copies should only be made of works or other subject-matter to which beneficiary persons or authorised entities have lawful access. Member states should ensure that any contractual provision which seeks to prevent or limit the application of the exception in any way is void of legal effect.

Authorisation or recognition requirements that Member States may apply to authorised entities, such as those related to the provision of services of a general nature to beneficiary persons, should not have the effect of preventing entities that are covered by the definition of authorised entity under this Directive from undertaking the uses allowed under this Directive.

Member States should only be allowed to provide for compensation schemes regarding the permitted uses of works or other subject-matter by authorised entities. In order to avoid burdens for beneficiary persons, prevent barriers to the cross-border dissemination of accessible format copies and excessive requirements on authorised entities, it is important that the possibility for Member States to provide for such compensation schemes be limited.

Compensation schemes should not require payments by beneficiary persons. They should only apply to uses by authorised entities established in the territory of the Member State providing for such a scheme and they should not require payments by authorised entities established in other Member States or third countries that are parties to the Marrakesh Treaty.

Member States should ensure that there are not more burdensome requirements for the cross-border exchange of accessible format copies under such compensation schemes than for non-cross border situations, including with regard to the form and possible level of compensation. When determining the level of compensation, due account should be taken of the non-profit nature of the activities of authorised entities, of the public interest objectives pursued by this Directive, of the interests of beneficiaries of the exception, of the possible harm to rightholders and of the need to ensure cross-border dissemination of accessible format copies. Account should also be taken of the particular circumstances of each case, resulting from the making of a particular accessible format copy. Where the harm to a rightholder is minimal, no obligation for payment of compensation should arise.

Member States should be allowed to continue to provide for an exception or limitation for the benefit of persons with a disability in cases which are not covered by this Directive, in particular as regards works and other subject-matter and disabilities other than those covered by this Directive, pursuant to point (b) of Article 5(3) of Directive 2001/29/EC. This Directive does not prevent Member States from providing for exceptions or limitations to rights that are not harmonised in the copyright framework of the Union.

Member States may provide that uses permitted under this Directive, if undertaken by authorised entities established in their territory, be subject to compensation schemes within the limits provided for in this Directive.