On June 8, 2015, the Minister of Industry introduced Bill C-65, with the short title Support for Canadians with Print Disabilities Act. This Bill amends provisions of the Copyright Act dealing with exceptions intended to facilitate access to alternate format works by the visually impaired and other persons with so-called “print disabilities”. These changes are intended to implement (and enable Canada to accede to) the Marrakesh Treaty, as announced in the federal budget. (See pp. 21, 281, 286.)

The proposed amendments broaden the exception in section 32, including by removing the exclusion of large print books and by expressly addressing distribution of, or providing access to, the accessible works.

The Bill also proposes a number of changes to the provisions in section 32.01 dealing with export of accessible format works, including to permit direct exports to beneficiary persons in other countries, subject to some conditions, and to remove conditions on the nationality of the author.

Additionally, the proposed amendments include conforming changes in section 41.16, which would broaden the existing exemption permitting circumvention of technological protection measures for the benefit of persons with perceptual disabilities to expressly include doing so in order to permit the exercise of the exceptions set out in sections 32 and 32.01.