Tuesday 5 June, 2018

Ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty in New Zealand is now a step closer, after a draft Bill was released today for public consultation.

“The Copyright (Marrakesh Treaty Implementation) Amendment Bill means so much to our community and we are really happy to see it in its draft form,” says the Blind Foundation’s Chief Executive Sandra Budd.

Once passed into New Zealand law, the Bill will give people within the blindness community and those with print disabilities in New Zealand – estimated at 168,000 – wider access to information by making it easier to distribute and share a wider variety of copyrighted works in accessible formats amongst the countries who have joined the international treaty.

“The Blind Foundation’s accessible library is one of our most-loved services. Everyone deserves the right to access the same information and unfortunately, for those who are blind or have low vision, having access to information in a format they can read is a challenge worldwide. The Marrakesh Treaty will make a real difference to the wealth of material we can provide.

“In the information age, we know too well that by unlocking access for our community, we are strengthening how we can overcome other challenges people with blindness or low vision might face including education, employment and social inclusion. This progress is significant,” says Budd.

The Blind Foundation has also recently extended its library service to serve all Kiwis with print disabilities, and looks forward to the opportunities for expansion the Marrakesh Treaty will provide.

“We have been working closely with Blind Citizens NZ in supporting the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty. On behalf of the blind sector I would like to thank the New Zealand government for their continued progress in making the treaty a reality,” says Budd.