Efforts to ensure easy and low-cost access to written works for those who are visually impaired seems simple enough in theory, but it is tricky in practice when the interests of rightsholders are considered. By now, this issue should be closer to being resolved after a recent diplomatic conference in Marrakech, Morocco, where a treaty was being negotiated to facilitate access to published works by the visually impaired and people with print disabilities. The initiative was hosted by the World Intellectual Property Organization. For a treaty to work effectively, it must meet three qualifications: protect rightsholders' interests, transpose into national laws, and specify the channels via which works will be accessible to those whose visual impairments meet specified definitions. The UK Parliament is trying to devise a solution that may direct cultural institutions to pay for copyright licensing per use, rather than with the appearance of a rightsholder.
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