Consultation on Marrakesh Treaty in Brazil

A crucial moment is coming in the implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty in Brazil, which included a public call on implementing regulations that ended on July 24th.

The Brazilian Federation of Library Associations – FEBAB – has been very active in mobilizing librarians, information professionals, and other interested third parties to participate within this open call. Also has been strongly representing the interests of libraries and enforcing the broad and unrestricted access to all. Its Copyright and Open Access Brazilian Committee (CBDA3) launched several campaigns on social media, webinars, and discussion groups.

Brazil was one of the first countries to sign and ratify the Marrakesh Treaty, even before it entered into force globally. The country was also a leader in pressing for the Treaty’s agreement in the first place.

The country is now in the process of finalizing its own national laws in order to make a reality of access. This brings the potential to remove unnecessary copyright-related barriers to access to knowledge for people with print disabilities.

As part of this, there have been extensive debates among professionals on different sectors, in particular through a working group to discuss relevant regulations and their implementation, organized by the Secretariat for Copyright and Intellectual Property (SDAPI) between October and December 2019.

Latest Developments

A particular question is whether Brazil should oblige people with print disabilities and the institutions that support them to check whether accessible format copies are available on the market before making or sharing them.

IFLA and partner organizations have long argued against the inclusion of such proposals. Indeed, among those countries which have legislated to implement the Marrakesh Treaty, 79% of countries[i] that have taken a decision on commercial availability decided to not include it (34 have ruled the commercial availability out, 9 countries have decided to implement it, while 49 countries have yet to adapt their national rules).

FEBAB has shared its concerns via a statement on this topic, underlining the risk that it will weaken the goals of the Marrakesh Treaty:

1 – Difficulty in defining universally what is a “work in accessible format”.
2 – Difficulty in defining what “reasonable access conditions” would be.
3 – The spirit of the Treaty is not the formation of a market, but the guarantee of a right.
4 – The clause would create insecurity in delivering the main promise of the Treaty, which is the cross-border exchange.
5 – The absence of this clause does not affect the Berne Convention’s Three-Step Rule, as already established in Footnote n. 5 of the Marrakesh Treaty itself.

Discover IFLA’s guide to start with the Marrakesh Treaty, adapted and translated by FEBAB in Portuguese.

The Marrakesh Treaty Implementation, March 2020, update