ALA Celebrates Senate Ratification of Marrakesh Treaty and Adoption of Implementation Act

For Immediate Release
Fri, 06/29/2018


Shawnda Hines

Asst. Director, Communications

ALA Washington Office

(202) 628-8410

The American Library Association, along with the Library Copyright Alliance, applauds last night’s ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty and passage of the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act (S. 2559) by theU.S. Senate by unanimous consent.

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, Immediate Past-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.”

“Joining the Marrakesh Treaty 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, President of the Association of College and Research Libraries.

“We are grateful for the efforts of the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Judiciary and Foreign Relations Committees to move the Treaty and implementing legislation through the Senate. We look forward the rapid adoption of the implementing legislation by the House of Representatives” said Mary Ann Mavrinac, President of the Association of Research Libraries and Vice President and Dean of the University of Rochester Libraries.

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.