In a statement, IPOPHL said this will be a good development following the country’s accession to the Marrakesh Treaty last month, which provided wider access to novels, textbooks, and other printed materials for more than three million visually-impaired Filipinos.
The accession to the Marrakesh Treaty has allowed the Philippines to export and import copyrighted works in accessible formats to and from nearly 50 nations that are part of the Treaty.
“With increased access to textbooks, novels, and other printed materials, the blind, visually-impaired, and otherwise print-disabled persons are given an opportunity to further their education and cultural appreciation,” IPOPHL Director General Josephine Santiago said.
“The spirit and intent of the Marrakesh Treaty will not only help reduce the ‘book famine’ experienced by these individuals, but will significantly empower them to seize opportunities that access to information has opened, and pave the way for a more inclusive society,” Santiago added.
According to the IPOPHL, it submitted a draft bill to Congress last November to amend the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, which aims to provide wider copyright limitation provision on accessible formats.
Aside from the blind, visually-impaired, and print-disabled persons, those who are unable to hold or manipulate a book will also be included in the copyright provision of these information materials.
The current Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines allows the “reproduction or distribution of published articles or materials in a specialized format exclusively for the use of blind, visually-, and reading-impaired persons, provided, that such copies and distribution shall be made on a non-profit basis and shall indicate the copyright owner and the date of the original publication”.
The law considered this as limitation on copyright and will not constitute as copyright infringement.
“This will go a long way to enhance access to information if approved by Congress and the President,” IPOPHL Director General Josephine Santiago said.