Which is the legal framework for technological protection measures?
The so-called "WIPO Internet Treaties", the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) which both entered in force in 2002, have established the international legal framework for protection of these technological protection measures. Key provisions in each of these treaties address the concern that technological protection solutions themselves are not invulnerable. In a digital environment therefore, the respect of works and their uses requires provisions which ensure that technologies, used by the right owners to protect the copyrighted content against illegal uses, may not be circumvented. In this regard, the two treaties oblige Member States to provide adequate legal protection and effective remedies against the circumvention of effective technological measures in Art. 11 WCT and Art. 18 WPPT, respectively.
The process of implementation of the WIPO Internet treaties is accomplished or underway today in a number of Member States. The process has provided sometimes differing approaches to meeting treaty obligations: for example, variations appear on the issue whether only acts of circumvention are covered, or whether also preparatory acts or making available of equipment that aid in circumvention are covered. Variations also appear concerning the kind of legal remedies that are provided for, or the interrelation between the use of technological protection measures on the one hand, and the limitations and exceptions of copyright, as foreseen by national copyright laws, on the other. Many countries allow free uses under certain conditions, for example for certain educational purposes, which may be rendered more difficult when protection measures for copyrighted content are deployed. These complex issues require well-balanced legislative solutions.
A status quo of the implementation as of April 01, 2003, can be found in a WIPO Survey on Implementation Provisions of the WCT and the WPPT.