Library Copyright Alliance Welcomes Introduction of Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act

Library Copyright Alliance LogoThe Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), whose members are the American Library Association, Association of Research Libraries, and ACRL, welcomes the introduction on March 15, 2018, of the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act by the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Judiciary and Foreign Relations Committees, Chairmen Grassley and Corker and Ranking Members Feinstein and Menendez, as well as Senators Harris, Hatch, and Leahy.

The Marrakesh Treaty, adopted by the member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization in 2013, requires countries to enact copyright exceptions that allow the making and distribution of accessible format copies such as braille or audiobooks, including by importation and exportation. The Treaty is largely based on the existing exception in the U.S. Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 121. The Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act amends the Copyright Act to ensure compliance with the Marrakesh Treaty.

“Libraries are central to the architecture of the Marrakesh Treaty,” said Jim Neal, president of the American Library Association. “Libraries are among the authorized entities that will create
and distribute the accessible format copies to people with print disabilities.”

“The implementing legislation introduced today would allow libraries in the United States to participate in the Marrakesh system and better serve the needs of people with print disabilities at
home and around the world,” said Cheryl Middleton, ACRL president and associate university librarian for research and scholarly communication at Oregon State University.

“We are grateful for the leadership of the sponsors of the legislation, and look forward to its rapid adoption by both chambers and Senate ratification of the Treaty,” said Mary Ann
Mavrinac, president of the Association of Research Libraries and vice-president and dean of the University of Rochester Libraries.

ACRL encourages academic and research librarians to ask your Senators to support the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act through this ALA Action Alert.

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The Library Copyright Alliance consists of three major library associations: the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries. These associations represent over 100,000 libraries in the United States employing more than 350,000 librarians and other personnel. An estimated 200 million Americans use these libraries over two billion times each year.