The EPP Group today backed new EU legislation that will facilitate the access of blind and visually impaired people to books and other printed materials.
The goal of this new Regulation, established in the Marrakesh Treaty signed in 2016, is to increase the number of works and other protected subject matter available in accessible formats such as braille, audio books and large print, and also to improve the accessibility of books in developing countries.
Following today’s decision, the EU law will include a new mandatory exception to copyright rules. This will allow beneficiaries - persons and organisations - to make copies of works in accessible formats and to disseminate them across the EU where there are around 30 million visually impaired people, and in third countries which are party to the Treaty.
“Access to knowledge is fundamental for these people, and without doubt one of the most direct ways to achieve this is through books and other printed formats, hence the need to promote these measures to guarantee the right to education, information and social participation", explained Rosa Estaràs MEP on behalf of the EPP Group.
“The ultimate goal is to achieve equal opportunities, improve social integration and avoid the risk of poverty", she added.
"Until now, visually impaired people have only had access to less than 5% of published works, but the measures approved today will substantially increase the number of works available in accessible formats”, Estaràs concluded.