WIPO PRESS RELEASE No. 106


Subject: WIPO PRESS RELEASE No. 106
From: Emanuella Giavarra (ecup.secr@dial.pipex.com)
Date: to 02 tammi  1997 - 19:38:03 EET


WIPO PRESS RELEASE No. 106

Geneva, December 20, 1996

In Geneva, on December 20, 1996, the WIPO Diplomatic Conference on
Certain Copyright and Neighboring Rights Questions adopted two Treaties,
namely the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms
Treaty. Any member State of WIPO may accede to those Treaties.

Both Treaties include provisions which offer responses to the challenges
of digital technology, particularly the Internet. They provide an
exclusive right for authors, performers and producers of phonograms to
authorize the making available of their works, performances and
phonograms, respectively, to the public, by wire or wireless means, in
such a way that members of the public may access them from a place and
at a time individually chosen by them (language which covers on-demand,
interactive transmissions in the Internet.)

In relation to that right, and the rights of communication to the public,
in general, the Conference adopted an agreed statement expressing the
understanding that the mere provision of physical facilities for enabling
or making a communication does not itself amount to communication.

The Treaties contain provisions on obligations concerning technological
measures of protection and electronic rights management information,
indispensable for an efficient exercise of rights in digital environment.

The Conference also discussed whether or not specific provisions are
needed concerning the application of the right of reproduction concerning
some temporary, transient, incidental reproductions, but did not adopt
any such provisions since it considered that those issues may be
appropriately handled on the basis of the existing international norms on
the right of reproduction, and the possible exceptions to it,
particularly under Article 9 of the Berne Convention.

Both Treaties recognize a right of distribution to the public of copies.
They leave to national legislation to determine the territorial effect of
the exhaustion of rights with the first sale of a copy (and, thus,
whether or not parallel import is allowed).

The WIPO Copyright Treaty also contains provisions on the copyright
protection of computer programs and original databases and on the right
of rental in a way similar to the TRIPS Agreement.

Furthermore, the WIPO Copyright Treaty raises the minimum duration of
protection of photographic (which in the Berne Convention now is 25
years) to the duration of protection of other works under the
Berne Convention (50 years).

The WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty covers the protection of the
rights of performers other than their rights in the audiovisual fixations
of their performances, and, in addition to the above-mentioned
provisions related to the digital technology, and the provisions on the
right of distribution, it also contains protection on other economic
rights of performers and producers of phonograms in a more or less
similar way as in the 1961 Rome Convention and, as far as the right of
rental is concerned, in a way similar to the TRIPS Agreement. The Treaty
also recognizes moral rights for performers in respect of their live
aural performances and their performances fixed in phonograms.

The minimum duration of protection of the rights covered by the Treaty
practically corresponds to the duration under the TRIPS Agreement (50
years) rather than under the Rome Convention (20 years).

The Conference also adopted a resolution expressing regret that, in spite
of the efforts of most Delegations, no agreement was reached on the
rights of performers in the audiovisual fixations of their performances
and calling for the convocation of an extraordinary session of the
competent WIPO Governing Bodies in the first quarter of 1997 to decide
about the schedule of further preparatory work in view of the adoption of
a protocol to the Treaty on such rights, not later than in 1998.

The Conference did not discuss the draft Treaty on Intellectual Property
Rights in Databases which would have granted protection also for
non-original databases. It adopted a recommendation on the
convocation of an extraordinary session of the competent WIPO Governing
bodies to decide on the further preparatory work of such a Treaty.

The official texts of the Treaties can be obtained from WIPO in Arabic,
Chinese, English, French, Spanish and Russian and, are being made
available, in English, French and Spanish, on the Internet
(http://www.wipo.int).

(End of Document)



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