Australia was among the first 20 countries to join the Marrakesh Treaty, which came into force on 30 September 2016. The Treaty is an international agreement that will help an estimated 285 million people worldwide have greater access to books published in accessible formats such as large print, braille or audio.

The Marrakesh Treaty provides exceptions to copyright protections to permit the printing and sending of accessible material in Australia and across borders. The treaty establishes an authorised network of accessible format distributers, in turn reducing costly duplications.

The treaty also provides a framework to protect the commercial interests of rights holders by requiring people to first seek to purchase material before relying on the treaty.

The Marrakesh Treaty was adopted at the World Intellectual Property Organization in 2013 and Australia signed the agreement in June 2014. 

The Treaty and a National Interest Analysis with an attachment on consultation were tabled in Parliament for consideration in June 2015. Following this, in September 2015, the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) recommended Australia ratify the treaty in Report 153.

The Marrakesh Treaty implementation consultation process has more background information.

22 countries have now joined the Marrakesh Treaty,
The 22 countries are:

Argentina
Australia
Brazil
Canada
Chile
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Ecuador
El Salvador
Guatemala
India
Israel
Mali
Mexico
Mongolia
Paraguay
Peru
Republic of Korea
Saint Vincent and Grenadines
Singapore
Tunisia
United Arab Emirates
Uruguay

Minister Fifield’s announcement on the ratification.