WIPO Symposium on WCT and WPPT 1996

Subject: WIPO Symposium on WCT and WPPT 1996
From: Emanuella Giavarra (ecup.secr@dial.pipex.com)
Date: pe 12 syys   1997 - 15:12:32 EEST

Dear list members,

I attended on behalf of EBLIDA the Symposium on the WIPO Copyright
Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT)
which was held on 10 September 1997 in Geneva.

This Symposium was organised by the International Bureau opf WIPO for
the WIPO Permanent Committee for Development Cooperation related to
Copyright and Neighbouring Rights.

At this meeting the relation between the Berne Convention, TRIPS, Rome
Convention 1961 and the two new Treaties (WCT and WPPT) was explained.
Most of the representatives present at the meeting were from the
developing countries.

It was very interesting to hear the interpretations of the International
Bureau on the two recently adopted Treaties. Two very good reports were
distributed which are unfortunately not available on the Web yet, but
will certainly be there in the coming week or you can order them via the
International Bureau (CP/DA/XII/SYM/2 and CP/DA/XII/SYM/3 of 22 August

I would only like to touch upon two remarks which were made and which
are out of line or new to what I have heard so far. One is on the WIPO
Copyright Treaty and the other on the WIPO Performances and Phonograms


The remark was made concerning the storage of works in digital form in
an electronic medium: the scope of the right of reproduction. In the WCT
an Agreed Statement to Art. 1.4 was adopted in which the last part reads
as follows:

"It is understood that the storage of a protected work in digital form
in an electronic medium constitutes a reproduction within the meaning of
Article 9 of the Berne Convention".

The interpretation of the International Bureau of this paragragh is
based on a WIPO/UNESCO Committee of Governmental Experts that clarified
in 1982 that storage of works in an electronic medium is reproduction
and since than no doubt has ever emerged concerning that principle. It
is another matter, according to the International Bureau, that the word
storage may still be interpreted in somewhat differing ways.

This is interesting because wherever I have given a workshop during the
ECUP project, the governmental representatives mostly said that the
WIPO/UNESCO Committee understood under "storage" permanent and temporary
storage. This seems to be disputable now as EBLIDA has defended all


The remark was made concerning the exceptions and limitations in Art. 16
and its relation to Article 15 of the Rome Convention.

In Art. 15 of the Rome Convention, specific limitations are given which
are independent of those provided for in a given domastic law concerning
copyright protection. The specific limitation in respect of private use
was the subject of debate.

In the Berne Convention limitations for private use are subject to the
three-step-test. In the Rome Convention the limitation of private use is
without further conditions.

It was stressed by the International Bureau, that if countries adhere to
both the WCT and the WPPT it is obliged to apply the three-step-test of
Art. 9 (2) of the Berne Convention (see PS below) also for any
exceptions and limitations to the rights provided for in the WPPT.

This is, according to the International Bureau, an improvement, because
it closes the provision of private use without using the three-step-test
in Art. 15 of the Rome Convention.

This is quite strange because Art. 1 of the WPPT says that "Nothing in
this Treaty shall derogate from excisting obligations that Contracting
Parties have to each other under the Rome Convention.

According to the International Bureau limitations and exceptions are no
"obligations of Contracting Parties" so one can derogate.

Overall, the meeting was more or less a warming-up for the WIPO Database
meeting of next week. We will keep you posted on what comes out of that

Kind regards,
Emanuella Giavarra

P.S. The three-step-test of Art. 9(2) allows limitations and exceptions
for activities which can pass the following test:
1. in certain special cases
2. provided that they do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the
work and further
3. provided that they do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate
interests of the author

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