At long last, the U.S. Senate passed the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act (S. 2559) by unanimous consent in a business meeting held yesterday. Because the legislation makes modest amendments to Section 121 (“the Chafee Amendment”), the House Judiciary Committee must give their consent to the amended legislation before it goes to the president for his signature.
ALA Immediate Past President Jim Neal said, “Libraries are central to the architecture of the Marrakesh Treaty.” As I recently explained in a blog post for American Libraries magazine, it cannot be overstated that the Marrakesh Treaty is a breakthrough in international law. Known officially as the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled, it is the first treaty sponsored by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) member countries that provides for an exception to international copyright law.
This landmark exception has paved the way for additional exceptions supported by librarians, as WIPO’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) has already begun discussing provisions related libraries, archives and education.
You can read about the Senate passage of the Treaty and other statements regarding U.S. copyright policy on the Library Copyright Alliance website.
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