WIPO To Negotiate Audiovisual Treaty In Beijing In Summer 2012Published on 2 December 2011 @ 2:19 pm
By William New, Intellectual Property Watch
Members of the World Intellectual Property Organization have agreed to hold highest level negotiations on a treaty to protect audiovisual performers’ rights in the summer of 2012 in Beijing, China.
The Preparatory Committee of the Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of Audiovisual Performances met from 30 November to 1 December. The report of the meeting, AVP/PM/6, was circulated today and should be available online shortly.
The preparatory meeting met within the broader context of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), which is meeting from 21 November to 2 December (IPW, WIPO, 22 November 2011).
Discussions on the draft AV treaty are continuing among a small group of interested member states, including Brazil, European Union, India, Mexico, Nigeria and the United States, according to sources. It was agreed that proposals and views may be submitted from six months prior up to month prior to the diplomatic conference.
It is agreed not to reopen any of the existing provisions of the text, but there is expected to be negotiation for explanatory language, or “agreed statements” for some more difficult provisions. Three agreed statements are expected, on Articles 1, 2, and 15 of the draft text, sources said.
The latest version of draft treaty, including 19 previously agreed provisions and the most recently agreed Article 12, is available here.
Article 1 pertains to the relationship of the WIPO treaty to other conventions and treaties.
Art. 2 pertains to definitions, such as “audiovisual” and “performers”.
Art. 15 pertains to obligations relating to technological measures.
The latest version also contains a new preamble that includes a reference to the 2007 WIPO Development Agenda, which was agreed at the October annual General Assembly, under document WO/GA/40/11 [doc], which gives the mandate of the diplomatic conference.
WIPO members agreed at their annual meeting in September that the issue was close enough to agreement to elevate to a diplomatic conference next year and approved the mandate (IPW, WIPO, 30 September 2011).
Technically next year will be the “reconvening” of a previous diplomatic conference. The audiovisual treaty was the subject of a diplomatic conference in 2000, but agreement could not be reached and the issue has been on the WIPO agenda until this year when a breakthrough occurred. All but one provision of the draft treaty had been agreed in 2000, and the final one, on transfer of rights, was reached earlier this year. The compromise was that consolidation of rights would be left up to the national level, rather than setting firm international rules, according to a participant.
Beijing AV Treaty
Also offering to host the conference were Mexico and Morocco. The preparatory committee accepted China’s offer to host the diplomatic conference after it was discussed at a diplomatic level, according to sources.
“The protection of audiovisual performance is very important and the treaty which is going to be concluded next year will make contribution not only to the interest of the concerned rightholders, but also to the general public worldwide who enjoy the audiovisual works,” the Chinese delegation attending the preparatory committee said in a statement to Intellectual Property Watch. “China is very happy to have the opportunity to hold this very important event in China next year and will do our best to make it successful diplomatic conference in the field of copyright.”
“Holding the diplomatic conference in Beijing will be very good for the development and strengthening of the intellectual property system in China,” US academic and government delegate Justin Hughes told Intellectual Property Watch.
It was agreed the conference should begin as soon as possible after 20 June. The conference will be at least one week, with additional days as determined by WIPO in consultation with China, up to two weeks as designated by the General Assembly mandate.
The preparatory committee elected Hughes as president. Marisella Ouma of Kenya and Graciela Peiretti of Argentina were elected vice-presidents.
The draft treaty “is a recognition of the rights of performers at the international level,” a participant said, adding that particularly in countries where they don’t have those rights, they could be bargaining chips or used by collecting societies.
The full contents of this draft treaty are:
Article 1: Relation to Other Conventions and Treaties
Article 2: Definitions
Article 3: Beneficiaries of Protection
Article 4: National Treatment
Article 5: Moral Rights
Article 6: Economic Rights of Performers in their Unfixed Performances
Article 7: Right of Reproduction
Article 8: Right of Distribution
Article 9: Right of Rental
Article 10: Right of Making Available of Fixed Performances
Article 11: Right of Broadcasting and Communication to the Public
Article 12: Transfer of Rights
Article 13: Limitations and Exceptions
Article 14: Term of Protection
Article 15: Obligations concerning Technological Measures
Article 16: Obligations concerning Rights Management Information
Article 17: Formalities
Article 18: Reservations and Notifications
Article 19: Application in Time
Article 20: Provisions on Enforcement of Rights
William New may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.