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115th Congress     }                               {       Exec. Rept.
                                 SENATE
 2nd Session       }                               {            115-6

======================================================================



 
   THE MARRAKESH TREATY TO FACILITATE ACCESS TO PUBLISHED WORKS FOR 
PERSONS WHO ARE BLIND, VISUALLY IMPAIRED, OR OTHERWISE PRINT DISABLED, 
                  DONE AT MARRAKESH ON JUNE 27, 2013.

                                _______
                                

                  June 19, 2018.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

          Mr. Corker, from the Committee on Foreign Relations,
                        submitted the following

                                 REPORT

                    [To accompany Treaty Doc. 114-6]

    The Committee on Foreign Relations, to which was referred 
the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works 
for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise 
Print Disabled, done at Marrakesh on June 27, 2013, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon with one 
declaration, as indicated in the resolution of advice and 
consent, and recommends that the Senate give its advice and 
consent to ratification thereof, as set forth in this report 
and the accompanying resolution of advice and consent.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page

  I. Purpose..........................................................1
 II. Background.......................................................2
III. Implementing Legislation.........................................3
 IV. Committee Action.................................................3
  V. Committee Recommendation and Comments............................3
 VI. Text of Resolution of Advice and Consent to Ratification.........4

                               I. Purpose

    According to the Secretary of State's Letter of Submittal 
to the President, the purpose of the Marrakesh Treaty to 
Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, 
Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled, Done at 
Marrakesh on June 27, 2013 (hereinafter, the ``Marrakesh 
Treaty'') is to reduce the global shortage of print materials 
in special accessible formats for the many millions of 
Americans and others throughout the world who are blind, 
visually impaired, or have other print disabilities, such as 
physical limitations that prevent holding a book. At present, 
according to the World Intellectual Property Organization 
(``WIPO''), only a small percentage of the more than one 
million books published worldwide every year are available in 
Braille, large print, or accessible digital files, resulting in 
diminished access to information, culture and education for 
persons with print disabilities. The Marrakesh Treaty addresses 
this gap by providing, with appropriate safeguards, that 
copyright restrictions should not impede the creation and 
distribution of such special format copies, and by fostering 
the exchange of such copies internationally.

                             II. Background

    The Marrakesh Treaty was negotiated and concluded under the 
auspices of WIPO to facilitate access to printed works for 
persons with print disabilities. It is widely agreed that there 
is a global shortage of print materials in accessible formats 
such as Braille, digital Braille, large print, and specialized 
audio files. The intent of the Marrakesh Treaty is to help 
address this ``book famine'' among the world's print-disabled 
individuals. Further, the administration has informed the 
committee that, while the United States has the ability to make 
numerous accessible format copies available to print-disabled 
individuals in the United States under existing U.S. law, 
treaty beneficiaries in the United States who read and learn in 
languages other than English will particularly benefit from 
treaty provisions that facilitate sharing such copies across 
borders. Beneficiaries under the treaty who require access to 
specialized works, such as scholarly texts for graduate work in 
universities in the United States, will also benefit from 
improved access to accessible works.
    The Marrakesh Treaty strikes a careful balance, providing 
that copyright protection should not impede the creation and 
distribution of such accessible format copies, including the 
exchange of such copies internationally to designated 
beneficiaries, while providing for appropriate safeguards to 
protect the interests of copyright holders.
    Under the Marrakesh Treaty, parties are required to provide 
an appropriate exception or limitation in their national 
copyright law for the creation and distribution of accessible 
format copies for the exclusive use of blind and other print-
disabled persons, subject to their existing international 
obligations. Further, parties are required, subject to various 
safeguards, to permit the exchange across borders of accessible 
format copies made under such national law exceptions for the 
use of blind and other print-disabled persons in other parties 
to the treaty. The Marrakesh Treaty provides assurances to 
authors and publishers that the system will not expose their 
published works to misuse or distribution to anyone other than 
the intended beneficiaries, and reiterates the requirement that 
the cross-border sharing of accessible format copies of works 
will be limited to certain special cases which do not conflict 
with the normal exploitation of the work and do not 
unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right 
holder.
    The United States signed the Marrakesh Treaty on October 2, 
2013. The President transmitted the Treaty for the advice and 
consent of the Senate on February 10, 2016. The committee notes 
that a more detailed article-by-article analysis of this treaty 
may be found in the Letter of Submittal from the Secretary of 
State to the President dated January 22, 2016, reprinted in 
Treaty Document 114-6.

                     III. Implementing Legislation

    The committee has determined that implementing legislation 
to implement the treaty is required. The Resolution of Advice 
and Consent to Ratification includes a Declaration stating that 
the treaty is not self-executing.
    On March 15, 2018, Senator Grassley introduced S. 2559, the 
Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act. S. 2559 was considered by 
the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 10, 2018 and reported out 
favorably with no opposition. The Senate Foreign Relations 
Committee notes that a more detailed section-by-section 
analysis of the implementing legislation amending Title 17 of 
the United States Code may be found in the report of the Senate 
Judiciary Committee accompanying the legislation.

                          IV. Committee Action

    The Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing to 
consider the treaty on April 15, 2018. The hearing was chaired 
by Senator Corker. The committee considered the treaty on May 
22, 2018, and ordered the treaty favorably reported by voice 
vote, with a quorum present and without objection, with the 
recommendation that the Senate give advice and consent to its 
ratification, as set forth in this report and the accompanying 
resolution of advice and consent to ratification.

                V. Committee Recommendation and Comments

    The Committee on Foreign Relations believes that 
ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty will provide important new 
benefits to the print-disabled individuals in the United States 
and U.S. citizen beneficiaries living in other countries party 
to the Marrakesh Treaty and recommends the Senate give its 
consent to ratification of this Treaty. Ratification will also 
improve the lives of print disabled beneficiaries in other 
countries and could improve U.S. coordination on intellectual 
property policy development and enforcement with other nations.
    The committee has included in its resolution of advice and 
consent one proposed declaration, which states that the 
Marrakesh Treaty is not self-executing. This declaration is 
consistent with the views of the executive branch. 
Historically, the Senate has not routinely included statements 
regarding the self-executing nature of treaties in resolutions 
of advice and consent, but in light of the Supreme Court 
decision, Medellin v. Texas, 552 U.S. 491 (2008), the committee 
has determined that a clear statement in the resolution 
continues to be warranted. A further discussion of the 
committee's views on this matter can be found in Section VIII 
of Executive Report 110-12.

          VI. Resolution of Advice and Consent to Ratification

    Resolved, (two-thirds of the Senators present concurring 
therein),

SECTION 1. SENATE ADVICE AND CONSENT SUBJECT TO A DECLARATION.

    The Senate advises and consents to the ratification of the 
Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for 
Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print 
Disabled, done at Marrakesh on June 27, 2013 (Treaty Doc. 114-
6), subject to the declaration of section 2.

SEC. 2. DECLARATION.

    The Senate's advice and consent under section 1 is subject 
to the following declaration: The Treaty is not self-executing.

                                  [all]