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Government launches consultation on copyright exceptions for persons with print disabilities under Marrakesh Treaty
     The Government launched today (May 9) a consultation exercise to gauge views on the relevant provisions in the Copyright Ordinance (Cap. 528) which might need to be amended to align with the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled (Marrakesh Treaty).

     The Marrakesh Treaty is an international agreement that came into force in September 2016. It sets forth standards for copyright limitations and exceptions to facilitate access to accessible format copies of copyright works, such that: a) persons with print disabilities (identified as "beneficiary person(s)" in the treaty) and certain "specified body(ies)" may perform a range of acts in relation to certain types of copyright works for the benefit of those beneficiaries without infringing copyright if certain conditions are met; and b) cross-border sharing of such accessible format copies is permissible.

     A Government spokesperson said, "While the existing Copyright Ordinance has set out a series of copyright exceptions to serve the needs of persons with a print disability, and they largely conform to the requirements under the Marrakesh Treaty, the Government considers that it is the appropriate time to conduct a review to ensure that the existing exceptions meet the latest international standards under the Marrakesh Treaty."

     A consultation paper has been issued to seek public views on a number of issues, as listed below, which require further review:

(i) the scope of "beneficiary person";
(ii) the scope of "specified body";
(iii) the types of copyright works covered by the print disability-related exceptions;
(iv) the acts which could be performed by persons with a print disability and/or "specified bodies";
(v) the conditions to be met under the existing provisions;
(vi) the application of anti-circumvention of technological measures provisions; and
(vii) cross-border exchange of accessible format copies.

     Members of the public and stakeholders concerned are welcome to submit views to the Government on or before August 9, 2017, via:

Email: mat_consultation@ipd.gov.hk
Fax:    2574 9102
Post:  Intellectual Property Department
         25/F, Wu Chung House
         213 Queen's Road East
         Wan Chai
         Hong Kong

     The consultation document is available on the websites:
Ends/Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:20
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