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Developing copyright exceptions to facilitate access to copyright works for people with a print disability
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 18:59 authored by Jingyi Li
Persons who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled commonly experience difficulties in accessing information as only a limited selection of books are published in Braille, audio or other accessible formats. This problem serves to then limit their fundamental human rights, including cultural, economic and political rights relating to knowledge and personal development. To resolve this issue, the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind,Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled (2013) obligates Contracting Parties to provide limitations and exceptions in their national copyright laws to permit the production and communication of copyright works in accessible formats without the authorisation of copyright right holders. The objective of this thesis is to examine whether, and to what extent, the Marrakesh Treaty, and the national laws implemented to fulfil the obligations of the Treaty, effectively reconcile the conflict between the protection of copyrights and access to copyright works for print disabled persons. The thesis develops a theoretical framework to reconcile and balance copyright and human rights, and analyses a range of national law, with a special focus on Australia and China, in order to evaluate the effectiveness of current copyright exceptions and limitations. The thesis concludes that the Treaty significantly strengthens access to published works by print disabled persons as it provides mandatory and well-designed copyright exceptions and limitations that effectively calibrate personal proprietary rights with the fundamental human rights of print disabled persons. However, the thesis further submits that the effectiveness of the Treaty could be substantially enhanced by implementing provisions in relation to reasonable pricing, providing exemptions relating to remuneration, developing precise criteria for identifying qualified beneficiaries, and extending the obligations of the Treaty to information and communication technologies.