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Marrakesh Treaty: UK publishes Government response

Government responds to its Marrakesh Directive consultation and sets out implementation approach.

IP Connect text over an image of hands on a tablet computer

Government today responded to its consultation on UK implementation of the Marrakesh Directive.

The Directive implements the Marrakesh Treaty. The Treaty improves access to books for the visually impaired and print disabled. It does this by creating exceptions to copyright law. These allow books to be copied into accessible formats and these copies to be transported across borders.

In summary:

  • most respondents agreed with the proposed implementation approach. The government will proceed on this basis. There will be slight changes in one area of implementation based on legal advice.

  • we will amend existing UK copyright disability exceptions in line with the EU Directive. Where possible, we will extend these to all works and disabilities.

  • we will remove existing commercial availability restrictions. These are not permitted by the Directive. There was insufficient evidence to warrant a compensation scheme. We will review this decision in 5 years, or if new economic evidence emerges.

The Marrakesh Treaty was agreed by the World Intellectual Property Office in 2013. The EU published a Directive and a Regulation to implement the Treaty in 2017. This will come into force by 12 October 2018. Legislation will be laid in Parliament in due course.

Published 10 September 2018