Implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty

The Marrakesh Treaty, adopted on 27 June 2013, on the diplomatic conference in Marrakesh, facilitates the availability of works in accessible format copies (such as in Braille, large print, audio books, e-books and podcasts) for persons who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled and enables the cross-border exchange of the copies without the prior authorization of the holders of copyrights and related rights.

The EU signed the Marrakesh Treaty in April 2014 and ratified it in October 2018. From 1 January 2019, it is legally binding for the EU. For the realization of the Treaty in the EU, the Regulation 2017/1563 and the Directive 2017/1564 were adopted. The purpose of the Regulation is to facilitate the distribution of works to beneficiary persons in accessible formats for non-commercial purposes between the EU and third countries that are parties to the Marrakesh Treaty. Also, the Regulation lays down uniform rules on the cross-border exchange of accessible format copies. The aim of the Directive, on the other hand, is to facilitate the distribution of works in accessible formats within the EU and their circulation on the internal market with the establishment of a mandatory exception to copyrights and related rights for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled.

Slovenia implemented the Directive with more than a 1-year delay on 19 October 2019, namely with the amendment ZASP-H to the Slovenian Copyright and Related Rights Act.

The amendment modifies Article 48.a that now, in addition to the exception to the right to reproduce and distribute, provides also an exception to the right of communication to the public, which includes the right of making the work available to the public, for the benefit of all disabled persons. Moreover, new Articles 48.b (definition of beneficiary persons) and 48.c (authorized entities) enable the making of the copies in accessible formats for beneficiary persons and the exchange of these copies on the internal market.

Learn more about this topic in the following two articles (in Slovene):

– Tilen Zonta and dr. Maja Bogataj Jančič: From the Marrakesh Treaty to the Amendment of the Copyright and Related Rights Act (published on 22 November 2018 in Pravna Praksa, pp. 15-17) – the holder of all material rights is LEXPERA d.o.o.;
– Tilen Zonta: Comparative Analysis of Implementing the Directive 2017/1564 (published on 13 December 2018 in Pravna Praksa, pp. 19-20) – the holder of all material rights is LEXPERA d.o.o..