ABC Global Book Service

The ABC Global Book Service, formerly known as the TIGAR Service, is an on-line catalogue that allows participating libraries for the blind and organizations serving people who are print disabled, known as authorized entities, to obtain easily the accessible content they need.

The Service supports the goals of the Marrakesh VIP Treaty at a practical level.   A participating authorized entity contributes its catalogue and may request accessible digital books contributed by other organizations for the purpose of supplementing its collection and distributing to people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled.  In those countries that have ratified and implemented the provisions of the Marrakesh VIP Treaty, such books can be exchanged across borders between participating authorized entities without requesting authorization from the copyright owner. For those countries that have not, ABC seeks authorization from the copyright owner prior to the exchange across borders.

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Students looking at large print on a computer
(Photo: WIPO)

Quick facts

Approximately 415,000 titles in 76 languages in a range of accessible formats.

Over 5000 music scores (partitions) in braille.

A secure, automated mechanism to transfer accessible digital books across borders.

A centralized procedure to obtain authorizations in those countries that have not ratified and implemented the Marrakesh VIP Treaty.

pictograms representing the services offered by ABC
(credit: WIPO)

Why use the Service?

By using the ABC Global Book Service, authorized entities can:

  • add accessible digital books to their collections free of cost;
  • provide a wider range of accessible digital books in different languages to patrons;
  • go to one source for the international exchange of titles from countries that have ratified and implemented the provisions of the Marrakesh VIP Treaty, as well as those that have not; 
  • review only one exchange contract – no need to have separate agreements with other authorized entities.

How can I join?

There is no fee or financial contribution required to use the ABC Global Book Service. To participate, an organization should:

  • meet the definition of “authorized entity” as set out in article 2 (c) of the Marrakesh VIP Treaty, including that it:
    • is not for profit;
    • only serves persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled;
    • discourages the reproduction, distribution and making available of unauthorized copies of titles; and
    • maintains due care in, and records of, its handling of titles;
  • sign an agreement with WIPO that sets out the terms and conditions for becoming a member of the ABC Global Book Service;
  • submit information about the titles contained in its collection (known as “metadata”) such as author name, publisher, year of publication, etc.;
  • provide the electronic files of its titles to the ABC Global Book Service, when requested by other participating authorized entities;
  • compile statistics about the number of ABC titles it supplies to its patrons.

Which organizations have joined?