Proposal to approve WIPO Treaties

Subject: Proposal to approve WIPO Treaties
From: Barbara Schleihagen (
Date: ti 09 kesä   1998 - 18:30:06 EEST

Dear list members,

The European Commission published in the Official Journal C165 of 30 May
1998 its proposal for a Council Decision to approve the WIPO Copyright
Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty on behalf of the
European Community.

The text of this proposal also refers to the new draft Copyright Directive
and explains the status of the European Community and the Member States
regarding these WIPO Treaties:

"Whereas, as to substance, these Treaties, together with the rules recently
proposed by the Commission in its proposal for a Directive on copyright and
related rights in the Information Society, will help to ensure a balanced
level of protection for works, while allowing the public access to material
available via networks;

Whereas, [...]whenever the Community adopts provisions establishing common
rules in one form or another in order to implement a common policy provided
for by the Treaty (establishing the European Commmunity, B.S.), the Member
States no longer have the right, [...] to enter into obligations with third
countries that affect those rules; whereas, as and when such common rules
are established, the Community alone is in a position to undertake and
perform [...] commitments entered into with third countries;

Whereas the subject-matter of the Treaties falls to a large extent within
the scope of existing Community directives in this field;

Whereas it follows that the approval of the above-mentioned Treaties is a
matter for both the Community and its Member States; {..}"

Article 3 of this Proposal for a Council Decision would authorise the
Commission to represent the European Community at the meetings of the WIPO
Assemblies refered to in the WIPO Treaties and to negotiate on its behalf.
The position of the European Community would be determined by the
Commission and the Member States within the competent Council working party
or at ad hoc meetings held under the auspices of WIPO.

Could a laywer explain what consequences this will have for the future of
International copyright legislation?

Best wishes,
Barbara Schleihagen

Barbara Schleihagen, Director
Heidi Grootscholten, EU Policy Officer
P.O. Box 43300
NL-2504 AH The Hague
Tel: +31-70-309 06 08
Fax: +31-70-309 07 08

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