Berne Protocol -- Big Changes Afoot -- Info

Subject: Berne Protocol -- Big Changes Afoot -- Info
From: Howard Knopf (
Date: ma 16 syys†† 1996 - 22:08:34 EEST

From the CNI-copyright list:


The diplomatic conference for the WIPO Berne Protocol is approaching --
December 2 -20, 1996. This is where things begin to get really serious.
The initiative deals with such matters as communication and
distribution/importation rights, "protection" defeating devices, rights
of performers and record producers, and data bases (goodbye, Feist?)

That which Commissioner Lehman and the Executive Branch cannot get
through Congress (i.e. S. 1284 on the GII and H.R. 3531 on data bases),
may be achievable in Geneva. Then, Congress will might follow
suit.....Meanwhile, other countries just might just believe that the
congressional setbacks are only temporary. It's an interesting exercise
of smoke and mirrors.

It is very ironic that, more and more, Governments are doing through
treaties that which cannot readily be achieved domestically, and then
bringing the signed treaty home for domestic enactment post facto.

I've posted (with kind permission) the collected reports of Seth
Greenstein from previous WIPO meetings on my own Website:

( as a background to the WIPO initiative.

I've also included my own short piece from a Canadian's perspective.
The actual documents for the conference are quite massive. Perhaps the
USPTO will post them on their own WIPO page at:

There were rumours that such a posting this might happen. WIPO does not
yet have its own Website and has not, apparently and unfortunately, been
in any rush to launch one. As far as I know, Seth's material is the
best there is available on the Web concerning the Berne Protocol.

This is important stuff. It could render trivial the impact of the WTO
TRIPS provisions, proposed amendments in Canada, etc., as if these
aren't significant enough.

It's time to pay attention.

Howard Knopf
Perley-Robertson, Panet, Hill & McDougall
Phone: 613-566-2820 or
Fax:   613-238-8775



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