Persons who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print-disabled continue to face many barriers to accessing books and other printed materials that are protected by copyright and related rights. This past September, the European Parliament and the Council enacted a new Directive that aims to harmonise the European Union Law applicable to these rights with the needs of those with impaired access to written materials. Without this harmonization, steps taken to improve access would continue to require prior authorization by the copyright holder.
The new Directive allows a limited right of reproduction that is necessary to convert or adapt or otherwise change a work or other subject matter to create an accessible format copy that makes it possible for disabled persons to access that work or other subject matter.
The Directive also requires authorised entities to ensure that these practices are established and followed in full compliance with the rules applicable to the processing of personal data of benefited persons.
The Directive also amends EU Directive 2001/29/EC about benefits for people with a disability.
The Directive (EU) 2017/1564 Of The European Parliament And Of The Council on certain permitted uses of certain works and other subject matter protected by copyright and related rights forthe benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired orotherwise print-disabled and amending Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society will enter into force on 6th of October, the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union series L 238/12 on September 16th, 2017.