Bill to amend the Copyright Act in support of persons with a disability is currently under review.

Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act (access to copyrighted works or other subject-matter for persons with perceptual disabilities), is currently in its second reading in Senate. The Bill attempts to bring our Canadian Copyright Act into agreement with the 2013 Marakesh treaty  adopted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), of which Canada is a member.

The Bill adds/amends language around reproducing material in a “format specially designed for persons with a perceptual disability”1 and its intent is to “facilitate access for such persons to copyrighted materials while ensuring that the interests of copyright owners are safeguarded2. Part of this would be accomplished by strengthening the language around bypassing technological locks and border restrictions, when in support of persons with a disability.

Howard Knopf and Michel Geist have expressed concerns about the language around the definition of the “commercially available” exception in the Act.