Facilitating Access to Published Works for Persons with a Print Disability: Amending Australian Copyright Laws to Ensure Compliance with the Marrakesh Treaty
journal contributionposted on 29.10.2019, 09:41 by Jingyi Li;Niloufer Selvadurai
The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled was ratified by Australia in December 2015 and came into force in September 2016. On 15 June 2017, Australia enacted the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Act 2017 (Cth) (‘Amending Act’) to fulfil its obligations under the Treaty by creating new exceptions to copyright to support access to published works by persons with a print disability. The objective of this article is to precisely identify areas of divergence between the Marrakesh Treaty and the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) and analyse the operation of the Amending Act in order to determine whether the proposed reforms will enable Australia to fulfil its obligations under the Treaty. The article suggests that whilst the Amending Act addresses certain critical concerns, further reforms need to be undertaken in order to ensure full compliance with the Treaty. Specifically, the article recommends that the Amending Act be amended to remove the commercial availability test in the new fair use mechanism, retain the print disability radio licence, introduce an extended exception for the circumvention of technological protection measures, and establish a mechanism for free cross-border exchange in order to enhance the value of the Treaty to the print disabled.