The Marrakesh Treaty – Ceiling or Window to the Open Sky?


June 10 | 4:00-7:00 | Room 603
3:00pm Coffee 4:00pm Lecture 5:45pm Reception
American University Washington College of Law
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The Washington College of Law is proud to present a distinguished lecture by Professor Martin Senftleben, Professor of Intellectual Property Law, at the University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Law. Responses to the lecture will be given by Michele Woods, Director of the Copyright Law Division of the Culture and Creative Industries Sector at the World International Property Organization (WIPO) and Scott LaBarre, National Federation of the Blind Delegate to WIPO for the negotiation of the Marrakesh Treaty.

After the amazement about the ‘Miracle of Marrakesh’ leading to the adoption of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled, the time has come to turn to the treaty’s implementation in national law. Policy makers worldwide are groping for solutions to the practical questions that arise in this context. Which implementation guidelines can be derived from the international three-step test that features prominently in the treaty text? How to preserve pre-existing limitations for disabled persons while adding the specific use privileges guaranteed by the Marrakesh Treaty? How to deal with different national concepts of beneficiary persons and special format copies when it comes to the cross-border exchange of works in special format? How to ensure the effectiveness of Marrakesh use privileges in case of works protected through technological protection measures?

The talk will address these questions and propose solutions in the light of the treaty text and its overarching objective to put an end to the book famine that dramatically reduces access of persons with reading disabilities worldwide. It will outline implementation options and open the debate on a ‘truthful’ implementation that can make a real difference for beneficiaries.