• Chris McMillan

Marrakesh Treaty effective in China, grants 17m print-disabled people with more access to culture,

Global Times

5th May 2022

Marrakesh Treaty effective in China, grants 17m print-disabled people with more access to culture, education

By Liu Caiyu

The Marrakesh Treaty, the first and only human rights treaty that is copyrighted, officially came into force in China on Thursday. Observers said it is a practical move that China adopted to expand the country's human rights protection sphere for some 17 million print-disabled people, giving them equal access to culture and education.

The treaty allows authorized entities to produce print-disabled friendly formats of cultural works without authorization from copyright holders, either Braille books, audiobooks or films and TV shows. It will also facilitate China's excellent print-disabled works to enter foreign markets.

Relevant authorities are stipulating detailed policies to implement the treaty, regarding the process of producing print-disabled works and how to supervise authorized entities, as well as cross-border exchanges in the field.

Before the adoption of the treaty, printing Braille books was the only legal format that could be adjusted to print format without copyright holders' authorization. As audiobooks, large-character books, electronic texts, and barrier-free adaptations of films and TV shows require authorization from copyright owners. The production normally takes time and money.

Li Qingzhong, the president of the China Association of the Blind, said the coming into force of the treaty will play a positive role in the cultural and educational industries for print-disabled people. Data showed there are 17.32 million people with visual disabilities in China, and the number of people with dyslexia may be even higher than this.



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