Copyright Exceptions for the Visually or Aurally Impaired

Copyright Exceptions for the Visually Impaired

The CDPA 1988 provides a number of exceptions against copyright infringement in the UK to facilitate the availability of accessible works to persons who are visually or aurally impaired.

Section 31A allows a visually impaired person to make an accessible copy of a literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic work or a published edition.

An ‘accessible copy’ is a copy that gives the visually impaired person an improved access to the work. For example, a digital copy that could be read on a computer using screen reading technology.

A visually impaired person is widely defined in the CDPA to include persons who are physically disabled and cannot flip the pages of a book.

This exception does not apply if there are accessible copies which are commercially available.

Section 31B enables an educational establishment, or a not for profit body, to make and supply accessible copies of literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic work or published editions for visually impaired persons. Again, this exception does not apply if there accessible copies are commercially available.

In relation to those with hearing problems, Section 74 allows a designated body to copies of broadcast to provide subtitled or modified copies of it to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, or physically or mentally handicapped in another way. The designated body can also issue and lend these copies without infringing copyright.

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