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|European resolution calls for international accessible books treaty|
The European Parliament has agreed a resolution, named Unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries, which, among other things, calls upon the European Commission to agree an international treaty to make more books available in accessible formats. Article 69 of the resolution ‘stresses the need to address the “book famine” experienced by visually impaired and print-disabled people’. It reminds the European Commission and European Union Member States of their obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. These include obligations to promote access to cultural materials in accessible formats and to ensure that intellectual-property rights do not constitute an unreasonable or discriminatory barrier.
The European Blind Union, which has been campaigning for a treaty to ensure that intellectual property laws do not prevent books being produced in accessible formats, has been celebrating the resolution. Article 70 of the resolution calls on the European Commission to work within the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to agree on a binding legal norm based on the treaty proposal drafted by the World Blind Union.
Lord Low of Dalston, President of the European Blind Union, said: ‘I am delighted that the Parliament has so clearly demonstrated its support for a binding law. He added: ‘I urge the Council and Commission, which negotiate on this matter, to listen to the Parliament, which speaks for the EU’s citizens, and support a binding treaty.’
For the full story, visit the European Blind Union website