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The regulation in Brazil of the Marrakesh Treaty – an international agreement that aims to facilitate access to printed works for the visually impaired and those with other difficulties – will expand the offer of these works and will be supported by Brazilian legislation, concluded the webinar debaters on the theme, May 8, by ABPI – Brazilian Association of Intellectual Property and WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organization, with support from the Secretariat of Copyright and Intellectual Property (SDAPI) of the Ministry of Tourism. More than 6.5 million Brazilians have visual impairments – of this total, about 600 thousand people are blind, according to the latest survey by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

First of the IP Meeting series – a partnership between ABPI and OMPI that seeks to disseminate the culture of Intellectual Property – the webinar was debated by Carlos Ferrari, director of Institutional Relations at ONCB – National Organization for the Blind of Brazil; Rafael Ferraz Vasquez, of the WIPO Copyright Division in Geneva; and Gustavo Martins de Almeida, legal consultant at SINEL – National Union of Book Publishers, under the mediation of Priscilla C. Cantuária, SDAPI Regulation Coordinator. The opening virtual table was attended by Gabriel Leonardos, vice president of ABPI; José Graça Aranha, WIPO regional director; and Aline Iramina, director of SDAP’s Regulatory Policy Department.

The debaters considered that many questions are open to be dealt with in the Public Consultation opened by the Special Secretariat of Culture (SECULT) of the Government, which has until May 28 to receive suggestions. Ferrari, in his presentation, stressed that the Marrakesh Treaty is complementary to Brazilian legislation, which is advanced in terms of access to printed works for people with disabilities, but noted that its implementation must be done with quality. “The treaty needs to be signed, as it is an exercise of law that goes beyond reading, it is a human right,” he said.

In addition to expanding access, the expectation is that, with the Treaty, there will also be an increase in the supply of printed works, in Braille or audiovisual. Vazquez, however, drew attention to some “complexities” in the implementation of the Treaty, in particular the question of the choice of certified entities, the formats and the system of cross-border exchanges of works, considering the language differences and the laws of the countries. “The legal problem of copyright will be solved with the implementation of the Treaty, but the other challenges remain,” he said.

Almeida, in his presentation, noted that the Brazilian Inclusion Law (Law No. 13,146 / 2015) placed Brazil at the forefront of the rights of people with disabilities. He recalled that the Federal Public Ministry and SINEL developed a Term of Adjustment of Conduct for a gradual conversion of printed publications in formats accessible to the disabled. “The treaty will find plowed ground in Brazil for its implementation,” he said.

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