Ebook Related Legislation and Guidance

Understanding the legal framework within your own publishing market will give you the basis around which to develop an accessible publishing policy and business plan. Outlined below are some of the main considerations for a variety of international markets and we welcome updates and information on these and other global markets.

The information on this page is not a definitive set of legal guidance and should not be considered legal advice. Please contact us if you have information pertinent to other countries or if you have updates to any of the information currently listed.

Markets Listed

International Considerations

Several international standards and guidance documents are referenced in regional legislation related to digital publications:

  • In a global context, the best strategy to increase your international accessibility compliance is to understand and follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and Article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD).
  • Many countries have signed and ratified The Marrakesh Treaty within their markets . This treaty is the first international Copyright Treaty focusing on exceptions.
  • EPUB Accessibility 1.0 Specification
  • ISO 300-71  (2019) extends BS8878  providing a code of practice for creating accessible ICT products and service. This is an international process-oriented standard enabling organisations to embed accessibility considerations into their “business as usual” processes.
  • The W3C provides an overview of international considerations for web accessibility.
  • The Accessible Books Consortium provides lots of useful guidance on behalf of WIPO.

Australia

  • Disability Discrimination Act, 1992 requires businesses to make adjustments to enable everyone to access their goods ,services or facilities where equal access can reasonably be provided. Digital content providers should ensure their systems and content comply with WCAG AA.
  • Australia is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty

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Brazil

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Canada

  • The Accessible Canada Act, 2019 prevents accessibility barriers in information and communication technologies.
  • Federal budget 2019 proposed the allocation of CAD $22.8 million over five years to aid the production of accessible publications.
  • Individual provinces may have specific legal requirements (see below)
  • Canada is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty

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China

European Union

  • European Accessibility Act, 2019 forms a robust base for access to information and knowledge. Publishers and the whole supply chain are required to produce their digital publications in accessible formats. The laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive have to be adopted and published by member states by 28 June 2022. Three years later, in 2025, the requirements of the European accessibility act must already have been implemented.
  • The EU is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty

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France

Germany

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India

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Ireland

Israel

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Guidance on meeting the Law from the Commission for Equal Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Italy

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Japan

  • Japanese Industrial Standard  JIS X 8341-3:2016  has the same set of criteria as WCAG 2.0.
  • Act for Eliminating Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities, 2016  includes web content.
  • Japan is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty

Netherlands

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Information regarding laws and regulations in the Netherlands

New Zealand

New Zealand has adopted two updated standards for government websites effective July 2019:

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Norway

Philippines

Sweden

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Switzerland

United Kingdom

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United States of America

  • Section 508 regulations applies to websites and publications. Universities either need to ensure procurement of accessible publications or provide an accessible equivalent. The American with Disabilities Act 2008 covers anyone participating in major life activities ie. reading.
  • USA is a participant of the Marrakesh Treaty

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Please contact us if you have information pertinent to other countries or if you have updates to any of the information currently listed.