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  • Chris McMillan

Visually Impaired Get Better Book Access

China Daily

6th May 2022

Visually Impaired Get Better Book Access

The Marrakesh Treaty, which allows for copyright exceptions so that visually impaired people can access copyrighted books and other works, took effect in China on Thursday.

The treaty, which substantially enriches the cultural lives and educational quality for visually impaired people, was approved by the World Intellectual Property Organization at a diplomatic conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, on June 27, 2013, and officially came into effect on Sept 30, 2016.

Wang Zhicheng, director of the copyright management bureau of the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, said at a news conference in late April that the 31st session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress, China's top legislature, approved the treaty on Oct 23, 2021.

He said that on Feb 5 — three months ahead of the treaty officially taking effect in China — the nation submitted the approval signed by President Xi Jinping.

"Beneficiaries of the treaty include people who are blind or visually impaired, as well as those who can't read due to other disabilities," he said. "The country has around 17.3 million people with visual impairment and the number of people with reading problems is even higher."

He said that with the treaty coming into effect, more people with visual impairment can have a richer cultural experience and better education. "It will be of great importance to help our good copyrighted works become known by overseas people and improve our influence in the area of copyrights in the world. It also shows the nation's image in protecting human rights and respecting people with disabilities."

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