In Memoriam – Caroline Morgan – ABC Board Member and International Copyright Lawyer
July 11, 2023
The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) is sad to announce the recent passing of Ms. Caroline Morgan. Ms. Morgan was the CEO of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) and sat on the ABC Advisory Board as IFRRO’s representative from June 2018 to March 2023, when she had to step down due to ill health. During her time on the ABC Board she was unfailingly gracious, constructive and provided the board with balanced and effective copyright advice. Caroline was instrumental in putting together the IFRRO Guide on the Marrakesh Treaty and ABC and always provided support in various countries where ABC needed assistance. In addition to her position at IFRRO, Caroline worked in senior positions at the Australian Copyright Agency from 1989 until 2016.
"Caroline served the ABC Advisory Board in the spirit of true collaboration, consensus and service to the objectives of the Marrakesh Treaty. She was also a productive and valued member of the WIPO for Creators board. She will be greatly missed. We extend our sincere condolences to her family as well as the entire IFRRO community."
Ms. Sylvie Forbin, Deputy Director General, Copyright and Creative Industries Sector.
The Marrakesh Treaty requires that countries that join the Treaty implement provisions in national copyright law that permit the production of books in accessible formats, such as braille, audio and e-text without the need to request permission from the copyright owner, as well as allowing for the cross-border exchange of such accessible format copies. Beneficiaries of the Treaty are persons who are blind, have low vision, are dyslexic or have mobility impairments that impact their ability to read the printed word.
According to a 2017 study published in The Lancet, approximately 253 million people are blind or visually impaired world-wide. Nearly 90% of these are resident in developing countries, where the World Blind Union (WBU) estimates that people who are blind have only a one in ten chance of going to school or getting a job. A lack of accessible books remains a very real barrier to getting an education and leading an independent, productive life.
The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) is a public-private partnership led by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) that brings together all of the key players – organizations representing people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled, authors, publishers, collective management organizations, libraries and other authorized entities, as well as standards bodies. ABC was established in June 2014 to implement the goals of the Marrakesh Treaty. Through an effective international alliance of relevant state and non-state actors, ABC seeks to increase, and distribute, the number of books worldwide in accessible formats - such as braille, audio, e-text and large print.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 193 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society's evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.