Rami Olwan

All About CyberLaw, Copyright and Developing Countries

The ratification and implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty for VIP in the Arab Gulf States


Visually impaired persons (VIPs) have asked the international community to help end the “book famine” they face and increase the number of books available in accessible formats.

After 30 years of negotiations, meetings and consultation between member states delegates, negotiators and non-profit organizations, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) adopted the VIP Treaty on 27 June 2013 in Marrakesh, Morocco, which entered into force on 30 September 2016.
Until today, it is mostly developing countries that have ratified the Treaty and only the United Arab Emirates (UAE) embraced its principles among the Gulf States. This article studies the copyright system in the Arab Gulf States and examines the state’s readiness for the adoption of the Treaty. It argues that without considering the cultural and legal implications that influence disability and visual impairment in these states ratifying the Marrakesh Treaty and amending copyright laws in the Gulf States will not alleviate the “book famine” for VIPs in these countries. This article proposes legal and policy recommendations to promote and facilitate accessibility to published works for VIPs that can be adopted in the Arab Gulf States and other developing countries.

The Ratification and Implementation of Marrakesh Treaty for Visually Impaired Persons in the Arab Gulf States, The Journal of World Intellectual Property 20(5-6): 178-205. November 2017




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