United States Senate advises and consents to the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty

Thursday evening, the United States Senate formally advised and consented to the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled.

The United States signed the Treaty in 2013 shortly after it was drafted, but it has taken this long to get to this point, partly due to the necessity of drafting implementing legislation, plus political considerations.

The Senate approved it by a division vote, with no record of how Senators voted. It was ratified during the end of the day wrap up period with only a handful of Senators on the floor.

It is unknown at this time whether the Trump administration will elect to actually ratify this Treaty and exchange ratification documents. The actions of the Senate merely authorize the President to ratify the Treaty, they do not compel him to do so. Also, Trump is at his leisure as to when to ratify the Treaty, he is under no time constraint to do so.

I don’t think the Trump administration has addressed the Marrakesh Treaty, at least not in a high profile way.

Currently, there are 80 signatories, including the United States and 40 State parties that have formally ratified the Treaty.

Why did we even need a treaty to address this?

Other intellectual property Treaties that the United States is currently a party to prevent access to the blind that this Treaty proposes to fix. Basically, this is just a fix of current Treaties.

Also, I just found a statement indicating that the Trump administration does support this Treaty and will ratify it.


The above is a press release on the Treaty by an advocacy group for the blind.