In April this year, India became a signatory to the Marrakesh Treaty which deliberates on the rights of Visually Impaired Persons and Print Disabled Persons to access published works. Currently 64 countries are signatory nations of 187 member nations of WIPO the Marrakesh Treaty which also includes the European Union, France and Greece.

The signing of this treaty by countries is considered quite significant as it would facilitate the creation of accessible version of books for visually impaired and print disabled persons.

Joint Secretary, MHRD (India), Smt. Veena Ish had highlighted in her statements that Indian Copyright Amendments had come into effect since June 2012, and were in harmony with the principles of the Marrakesh Treaty. This places India in a good position for the ratification process of the treaty.

With the ratification of the Treaty in the future and its implementation, certain questions that may arise would be:

  1. Would all literary works of art be required to be reproduced and formatted to suit the visually impaired person’s needs?
  2. With the introduction of certain exceptions and limitations to the Copyright rules, due to the Marrakesh Treaty, would it in any way be disadvantageous to the copyright holder as it would permit reproduction of literary works in a format that suits the visually impaired person’s requirement?