[A2k] Mihály J. Ficsor: Commentary to the Marrakesh Treaty on Accessible Format Copies for the Visually Impaired

Manon Ress manon.ress at keionline.org
Mon Jan 27 07:45:25 PST 2014


Commentary to the Marrakesh Treaty on Accessible Format Copies for the
Visually Impaired


The Introduction to the Commentary points out that the limitations and
exceptions foreseen in the Treaty – as also proved by the WIPO-Unesco Model
Provisions adopted in 1982 (under the chairmanship of the author of the
Commentary ) – may also be applied (and, in many countries, are applied) on
the basis of the existing copyright treaties in accordance with the
three-step test. The Treaty is historical, but not because it would be the
first treaty to make the application of such limitations and exceptions
possible. It is historical from the viewpoint of persons with visually
impairment since it expresses full solidarity of the international
community by offering an adequate legal and organizational framework for
international cooperation to ensure more efficient availability of
accessible format copies. It is also historical in a broader sense since it
– together with the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances (BTAP)
adopted a year earlier – seems to have put an end to a quite troubled
period (more or less the last decade) in the international copyright
relations by contributing to a well-balanced international regulation of
copyright and, at the same time, rejecting a badly informed campaign
against certain indispensable elements of the existing copyright norms (in
particular the three-step test and TPM protection). The Introduction also
discusses the reasons for which the Marrakesh Treaty has rightly be
characterized as exceptional and unique and for which it cannot be regarded
as a model for any treaties on other limitations and exceptions (not needed
because those limitations and exceptions may be duly applied on the basis
of the existing international norms). Namely, that it is a special-format
treaty, a treaty on special-format copies for the visually impaired.

The Commentary contains detailed paragraph-by-paragraph comments and an
Annex added to it offering a thorough analysis of the key issues of the
three-step test (of which a summary is included in the comment to Article
11 of the Treaty on the test).
Publish date: 2013-10-11 15:40:00
Last modified: 2013-10-11 15:42:26
Author: Dr. Mihály J. Ficsor
Manon Ress, Ph.D.
Knowledge Ecology International, KEI
manon.ress at keionline.org, tel.: +1 202 332 2670

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