‘Positive Noises’ On Resuming Talks On WIPO Audiovisual Performances Treaty09/09/2009 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service, and subscribing to our service helps support our goals of bringing more transparency to global IP and innovation policies. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You also have the opportunity to offer additional support to your subscription, or to donate.The World Intellectual Property Organization this week may have witnessed the beginnings of a resumption of high-level negotiations on an international treaty on the protection of audiovisual performances. Informal open-ended consultations on protection of audiovisual performances were held in the context of a 7-9 September WIPO meeting on the half-century-old International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations, known as the Rome Convention of 1961.A high-level negotiation – known as a diplomatic conference – held in the year 2000 collapsed in disagreement and has not been able to be restarted by proponents. Until now.“Everyone seems to be keen to start discussing negotiations,” a European private-sector participant said after the consultation. Another participant said, “There was a general attitude of encouraging [talks], positive noises.”A third was more cautious, saying only that some participants “saw a glimmer and are trying to make fire.”And a WIPO official concluded, “There’s a scale of enthusiasm. [But] nobody spoke against agreement.”Several sources said producers who in the past had been opposed to talks on the transfer of rights section of the draft treaty signalled some flexibility this time. It appears according to sources that there was a suggestion that where in the past US producers have insisted the treaty follow the US approach on transfer of rights, they might now consider a treaty that preserves national approaches like that of the US but does not limit it to that.The next step for audiovisual is unclear but the subject falls under the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) and it is expected the subject will be addressed by the WIPO General Assemblies, to be held from 22 September to 1 October. The next SCCR meeting is scheduled for 14-18 December, and the audiovisual treaty is on the agenda.According to the European source, a new diplomatic conference, should one be held, could pick up with the same text from 2000 and focus only on the sticky issue of transfer of rights. In the 2000 text, four alternatives were offered on this, as described in the background document for this week’s informal, open-ended consultations.These four were based on: a rebuttable presumption of transfer of rights of audiovisual performers; the model of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, Article 14bis (2), which established in favour of the producer an entitlement to exercise the rights of performers; principles of private international law, which apply the law of the country most closely connected to the subject matter; and finally, an option of no provision at all relating to transfer.According to another participant, one suggestion was to create a stakeholder platform like has been done in the context of discussions on a WIPO treaty for the visually impaired.A representative for the producers could not be reached by presstime.Rome ConventionThe draft report for the Rome Convention meeting on Monday and Wednesday (with the audiovisual consultation between) will be available here shortly. The draft report was adopted with only minor technical changes, an official said.Since the Rome Convention took effect in 1961, WIPO, along with the International Labour Organization and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have held regular meetings on it. The last meeting was at UNESCO in Paris in 2005. In recent years it has become apparent that there may not be significant changes to the convention (as separate, new treaties have been negotiated at WIPO and elsewhere to address new needs), making it less necessary to hold the meeting, sources said. It was agreed this week again to suspend the mandated biennial meeting of the Rome Convention parties, and that the next meeting would be within a year of any “decisive new development.”On the WIPO treaty on broadcasters rights, which saw a failed attempt at a diplomatic conference in 2007, the secretariat is commissioning a study on the socioeconomic dimension of the unauthorised use of signals, expected to be available for discussion in the following SCCR meeting in 2010, according to the draft Rome Convention report.On the future of the Rome Convention, a document was drafted for the meeting by the three secretariats that described work done in recent years, mainly in WIPO, but offered little in the way of substantive proposals for changes to the convention.Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)RelatedWilliam New may be reached at email@example.com."‘Positive Noises’ On Resuming Talks On WIPO Audiovisual Performances Treaty" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.