Statement by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Senate Judiciary Committee
May 10, 2018
morning. Today we have several nominees and one bill on the agenda.
judicial nominees are on the agenda for the first time. They are:
Oldham, 5th Circuit
Albright, Western District of Texas
Kleeh, Northern District of West Virginia
Phipps, Western District of Pennsylvania
Truncale, Eastern District of Texas
Vitter, Eastern District of Louisiana
minority has requested they be held over, so these six nominees are held over
is also one US Attorney nominee, and three US Marshal nominees on today’s
agenda that we’ll vote on.
glad we’re considering S. 2559 today, a bill to implement the Marrakesh Treaty.
The United States signed the treaty in October 2013 to facilitate access to
published works for blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled
persons. The Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the Treaty and is
planning to move on the Treaty’s ratification process.
Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act is a consensus bill that was
developed by both the Judiciary and Foreign Relations Committees with
stakeholders within the publisher, library and print disabilities communities.
We did this in consultation with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the
Copyright Office. As such, the bill enjoys the support of all these
stakeholders, as well as other interested industry, copyright and public
interest stakeholders. I particularly want to commend the National Federation
of the Blind, the Association of American Publishers, and the Library Copyright
Alliance for working with us in reaching an agreement on legislative text and
proposed legislative history. We would not be here today without their efforts.
2559 makes modest adjustments to U.S. copyright law to bring us into compliance
with the Treaty.
that the Marrakesh Treaty is based on current U.S. copyright law that provides
an exception or limitation for the creation and distribution of accessible
format copies for the exclusive use of blind and other print-disabled persons,
subject to various safeguards. S. 2559 broadens the scope of accessible works
to include previously published musical works, refines the definition of
eligible persons, and creates a new section in the Copyright Act to deal with
the export and import of accessible format copies.
2559 would go a long way in helping to give people with print disabilities—here
in the United States and all over the world—greater access to materials in
formats such as braille, large print and specialized digital audio files. It is
a bipartisan, consensus bill that enjoys widespread support. It is supported by
the copyright community as well as by the Administration.
most importantly, it is supported by the publishers, libraries, and print
disabilities and blind stakeholders who worked so diligently with us to reach a
consensus. I’d like to acknowledge several members of the National
Federation of the Blind who are here, including Mr. Jerad Nylin, who is the
President of the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa. Thank you for being
with us today.
objection, I’d like to put a letter from these groups in support of the bill in
I want to thank Senators Feinstein, Leahy, Hatch, Harris, Kennedy, Klobuchar
and Durbin for cosponsoring this important bill. I urge my colleagues to vote
for S. 2559.