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Two days left for Brandis to sign Marrakesh Treaty



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THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS MEMBER FOR ISAACS

MEDIA RELEASE

TWO DAYS LEFT FOR BRANDIS TO SIGN MARRAKESH TREATY

Labor has called on the Attorney-General to sign the Marrakesh Treaty before the deadline of 26 June.

The Marrakesh Treaty was negotiated by the World Intellectual Property Organisation and allows signatories to make exceptions to copyright laws to allow the creation of written material for visually impaired people.

It has been a month since Senator Brandis was questioned in Senate Estimates on the Australia becoming a signatory to the Treaty.

First he claimed it was the responsibility of the Foreign Minister.

Then the Attorney-General was unable to answer what the Treaty was, and was forced to take it on notice.

Having had a month to read through his briefs and establish it is his responsibility; Senator Brandis has only two days left to sign this important Treaty.

If Senator Brandis misses the 26 June deadline, Australia will have to go through lengthier parliamentary processes in order to become party to the Treaty by accession.

Hundreds of millions of blind, visually impaired and print-disabled people around the world have limited access to books because of differing copyright systems between countries.

Australia took a leading role in the negotiation of this landmark Treaty in Marrakesh in 2013.

The Marrakesh Treaty has the potential to transform the lives of visually impaired Australians and others across the world.

Once the Attorney-General decides to sign the Marrakesh Treaty on behalf of Australia, the next step is for the Government to pursue ratification.

TUESDAY, 24 JUNE 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: ANNIE WILLIAMS 0428 040 522