Yesterday Industry Minister Candice Bergen introduced Bill C-65, the Support for Canadians with Print Disabilities Act for first reading in Canadian Parliament. The Act will allow Canada to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.
Among other things, the bill would allow non-profit organizations acting for the benefit of persons with a print disability to create accessible-format works and provide those works (or access to those works) to people with print disabilities and to non-profit organizations acting for their benefit outside of Canada (s. 32.01 (1)) on payment of royalties set by regulation (s. 32.01 (4)). It would also allow the circumvention of TPMs for these purposes (s. 41.16). The Act sets out reporting requirements (32.01(6)) and requirements that contracts be put in place with outside organizations regarding the use of the works (32.01(7)(a)).
This is a welcome move. It would facilitate access to books and other copyright materials around the world, allowing Canadian organizations to work with their counterparts in other countries to make works accessible. It would also make Canada the first G7 country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty.