This book provides an overview of disability exceptions to copyright infringement and the international and human rights legal framework for disability rights and exceptions. The focus is on those exceptions as they apply to visual art, while the book presents a comprehensive study of copyright’s disability exceptions per se and the international and human rights law framework in which they are situated.

3D printing now allows people with a visual impairment to experience 3D reproductions of paintings, drawings and photographs through touch. At the same time, the uncertain application of existing disability exceptions to these reproductions may generate concerns about legal risk, hampering sensory art projects and reducing inclusivity and equity in cultural engagement by people with a visual impairment. The work adopts an interdisciplinary approach, with contributions from diverse stakeholders, including persons with disabilities, cultural institutions and the 3D printing industry. The book sketches the scene relating to sensory art projects. Experts in intellectual property, human rights, disability and art law then critically analyse the current legal landscape relating to disability access to works of visual art at both international and regional levels, as well as across a broad representative sample of national jurisdictions, and identify where legal reform is required.

This comparative analysis of the laws aims to better inform stakeholders of the applicable legal landscape, the legal risks and opportunities associated with sensory art and the opportunities for reform and best practice guidelines, with the overarching goal of facilitating international harmonisation of the law and enhanced inclusivity.

chapter 1|9 pages


part 1|61 pages

Social, cultural and technical challenges of 3D printing 2D art works

chapter 3|20 pages

Accessibility and Open GLAM

chapter 4|9 pages

3D printing in arts and heritage

Renegotiating relationships between the original and the replica

chapter 5|13 pages

Art accessibility

Advantages and prospects given by new technologies

chapter 6|6 pages

Sensory art from a 3D printer’s perspective

The deployment of 3D printing to produce artworks

part 2|18 pages

International framework for disability rights and exceptions

chapter 7|16 pages

Paradigm shifting to a point

Disability human rights, copyright protection, and access to visual art in international law

part 3|29 pages

The EU framework for disability rights and exceptions

part 4|129 pages

Mapping and critiquing the legal landscape

chapter 11|16 pages

United States

chapter 12|15 pages

Copyright in the public interest

Canada’s perceptual disability framework

chapter 15|15 pages


chapter 16|10 pages

Costa Rican copyright legislation and disability exceptions

The case study of 3D printing

chapter 18|16 pages

New Zealand

chapter 19|5 pages