Open Access Policy newly implemented at WIPO

WIPO takes a step further in the promotion international access to knowledge. The organization announced this month that it is adopting an Open Access Policy in support of its commitment to the sharing and dissemination of knowledge, and to make its publications easily available to the widest possible audience.

Under this policy, WIPO facilitates free access to online content and publications under WIPO’s name, and also minimizes the conditions and restrictions placed on the use of its content.

Unless specified otherwise in particular terms of use, anyone is free to reproduce, distribute, adapt, translate and publicly perform content published online under WIPO’s name, provided that such use is accompanied by an acknowledgement that WIPO is the source, and clearly indicates if changes are made to the original content.

To implement this access, WIPO will use the suite Creative Commons Intergovernmental Organizations (IGO) licenses, an online licensing system developed in 2013 in collaboration with several international organizations and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

New WIPO publications published on or after November 15, 2016 and a selection of existing publications have been licensed under the CC-BY 3.0 IGO license or one of the other licenses in the Creative Commons IGO suite.  WIPO publications available under Creative Commons licenses will be clearly identified and searchable within the publications area of the WIPO website. Previous publications will be made available on a case-by-case basis.

Through this new policy, WIPO is supporting open archive initiatives that promote the dissemination of content through interoperability standards and efficient licensing schemes.

Marrakesh Treaty Coming into Force Today

On June 30th this year, Canada became the 20th nation to accede the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled, a decision that was said to be “long overdue” The Treaty, originally adopted in Morocco in June 2013, is coming into effect today. “The coming into force of the Treaty will mark the last step of a long journey toward a more inclusive global community, where print-disabled and visually impaired people can more fully and actively participate in society and reach their full potential,” said Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains.

Photo: WIPO - Emmanuel Berrod.
Photo: WIPO – Emmanuel Berrod.

The main objective of the Marrakesh Treaty is to address the “book famine” by facilitating the access of published books by people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled. It requires from the countries who signed into the Treaty to have an exception to domestic copyright law for visually impaired and print disabled people. It also focuses on the accessibility of published works by harmonizing limitations and exceptions to the exchange of works across borders. It will hopefully increase the numbers of accessible works over the world. According to the World Blind Union, over 90% of published materials are currently not available to the nearly 300 million people that are blind or have a print disability.

A FAQ was put together by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada to explain how the Marrakesh Treaty benefits Canadians

News from the GA Floor: The Marrakesh Treaty – Upcoming Signatories

WIPO delegates at the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights. (Photo: IFLA)

The 2013 WIPO General Assembly is currently well underway in Geneva, and a number of interesting and insightful developments have already taken place thus far. This past Wednesday, the assembly opened up item 31 on the agenda, or the “Report on the Outcome of the Marrakesh Diplomatic Conference to Conclude a Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities” (the Marrakesh Treaty for short). The full webcast of this item can be found on the WIPO website, under video A/51-Wed 25- English: Afternoon Session. As many delegates made a point to highlight, this is indeed a historic treaty in many respects, and has been seen by many as a great triumph for WIPO, the multi-lateral system, and the international community.

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