Helping disabled people
There are two exceptions to copyright for the benefit of disabled people. These exceptions cover you if you have a physical or mental impairment which prevents you from accessing copyright protected materials.
One exception allows you, or someone acting on your behalf, to make a copy of a lawfully obtained copyright work if you make it in a format that helps you access the material. For example, if you buy a book from a shop then make a Braille copy to help with a visual impairment then you are not infringing the copyright in the book.
You are entitled to make an accessible copy, or have someone else make one for you, if:
- you lawfully own, or have the right to use a copy of the work (for example, you own it or have borrowed it from a library), but the work is inaccessible because of a physical or mental impairment
- a copy that would be accessible to you is not commercially available
The second exception permits educational establishments and charity organisations to make accessible format-copies of protected works on behalf of disabled people. The exception permits acts such as:
- making braille, audio or large-print copies of books, newspapers or magazines for visually-impaired people
- adding audio-description to films or broadcasts for visually-impaired people
- making sub-titled films or broadcasts for deaf or hard of hearing people
- making accessible copies of books, newspapers or magazines for dyslexic people
However, this exception does not apply when suitable accessible copies are commercially available.
Please note that no-one can make a profit out of helping you make an accessible copy, but they are able to charge a fee covering any they costs incur in making and supplying such a copy.