World Intellectual Property Organization

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      AB/XXX/4
      ORIGINAL:
      English
      DATE: March 21, 1997

WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION


GENEVA

GOVERNING BODIES OF WIPO
AND THE UNIONS ADMINISTERED BY WIPO

Thirtieth Series of Meetings

Geneva, March 20 and 21, 1997

GENERAL REPORT

adopted by the Governing Bodies

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

ITEMS OF THE CONSOLIDATED AGENDA (see document AB/XXX/1 Prov.Rev.2)

    Item 1: OPENING OF SESSIONS

    Item 2: ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

    Items 3 and 4: PREPARATORY WORK ON A PROTOCOL CONCERNING AUDIOVISUAL PERFORMANCES AND PREPARATORY WORK ON A TREATY CONCERNING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN DATABASES

    Item 4bis: PROPOSAL FROM THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA CONCERNING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN AD HOC INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES COMMITTEE AND PROPOSED DECISIONS CONCERNING SCHEDULING OF MEETINGS OF THIS AND RELATED COMMITTEES


    Item 4ter: PROPOSAL FROM THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF THE CENTRAL AND EAST EUROPEAN REGION IN WIPO

    Item 5: STAFF MATTERS

    Item 6: ADOPTION OF THE GENERAL REPORT AND OF THE INDIVIDUAL REPORTS OF THE VARIOUS
    SESSIONS

    Item 7: CLOSING OF THE SESSIONS


INTRODUCTION

This General Report records the deliberations and decisions of the following three Governing Bodies:

    WIPO General Assembly, twentieth session (8th extraordinary)
    WIPO Coordination Committee, thirty-eighth session (11th extraordinary)
    Berne Union Assembly, twenty-first session (9th extraordinary)

meeting in Geneva on March 20 and 21, 1997, where the deliberations took place and the decisions were made in joint meetings of two or more of the said Governing Bodies (hereinafter referred to as "the joint meeting(s)" and "the Governing Bodies," respectively).

In addition to this General Report, separate reports have been drawn up for each of the said three Governing Bodies (see documents WO/GA/XX/3, WO/CC/XXXVIII/2 and B/A/XXI/1).

The list of the States members of the Governing Bodies and the observers invited to their sessions as of March 14, 1997, is set forth in document AB/XXX/INF/1. The European Communities were also invited.


ITEM 1 OF THE CONSOLIDATED AGENDA:

OPENING OF THE SESSIONS

The thirtieth series of meetings of the three Governing Bodies (General Assembly of WIPO, WIPO Coordination Committee and Assembly of the Berne Union) was convened by the Director General of WIPO (hereinafter referred to as "the Director General").

The sessions of the three Governing Bodies were opened in a joint meeting of the three Governing Bodies by the current Chairman of the WIPO General Assembly, Mr. Moses F. Ekpo (Nigeria).


ITEM 2 OF THE CONSOLIDATED AGENDA:

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

The statements made during the debate will be reflected in an annex* to this report.

The Chairman declared that, by a majority decision, item No. 5 is included in the agenda and, consequently the agenda was adopted as proposed in document AB/XXX/1 Prov. Rev.2.


ITEMS 3 AND 4 OF THE CONSOLIDATED AGENDA:

PREPARATORY WORK ON A PROTOCOL CONCERNING AUDIOVISUAL PERFORMANCES; PREPARATORY WORK ON A TREATY CONCERNING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN DATABASES

Discussions were based on documents AB/XXX/2 and AB/XXX/3.

The Delegation of Côte d'Ivoire said that the meetings proposed for September 1997 should, for the purpose of concentrating travel, preferably take place during the week immediately preceding the next ordinary sessions (September 22 to October 1) of the Governing Bodies.

The Delegation of the United States of America said that it had a flexible attitude as to the dates of the meetings in September 1997. It said that there was no need for preparatory documents prepared by the International Bureau.

The Delegation of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union, expressed similar views to those of the Delegation of the United States of America.

The Delegations of Côte d'Ivoire, speaking on behalf of the African Group, Sri Lanka, speaking on behalf of the Asian Group, and China pointed out that more time was needed for the discussion of the issue of database protection than for the discussion of the proposed Audiovisual Protocol. The Delegations of Colombia and Brazil also stated that priority had to be given to the Audiovisual Protocol. The Delegation of Colombia further mentioned the need to have written proposals from Governments before the session of the Committee of Experts, which would make it possible to go ahead with knowledge of definite ideas on a protocol to the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty concerning audiovisual performances. The Delegation of the Republic of Korea said that the tentative schedule concerning the Protocol on Audiovisual Performances was too narrow. Instead, the International Bureau should invite written proposals from governments by the end of May 1997. Replies and comments based on such proposals could then be submitted by the end of August 1997. On the subject of database protection, it considered a meeting in 1997 as premature. Preparatory work on this matter should be deferred until after 1998.

The Delegation of India, supported by the Delegation of Sri Lanka, speaking on behalf of the entire Asian Group, suggested that the International Bureau prepare a technical study on the issue of audiovisual performances and databases, particularly concerning laws and practices existing in different legal systems, as well as the bibliography of published literature.

Both delegations found support for these suggestions from a number of other Delegations.

On the question of the possible sui generis protection of databases, the representatives of UNESCO and WMO emphasized the importance of taking into account not only the interests of database producers, but also aspects of education, research, teaching, science, technology and exchange of meteorological data as well as the interests of other stakeholders. Alternatives to a sui generis protection, as well as their implications, should be examined, and an extensive debate both at the national and at the international level should be made possible. The representatives of UNESCO and WMO indicated the readiness of their organizations to cooperate with WIPO in this field.

The Delegations of Côte d'Ivoire and Pakistan suggested that the International Bureau seek contributions by relevant organizations, such as UNESCO, WMO and UNCTAD, in particular on the impact of a sui generis protection of databases on development.

The Director General stated that contributions from these organizations to the preparatory work would be welcome.

The Delegations of Côte d'Ivoire, Sri Lanka and Colombia, speaking in the name of the African, Asian and Pacific, and Latin American and Caribbean Groups, respectively, asked the International Bureau to increase the proposed number of participants whose travel costs would be covered by WIPO.

The Director General, replying to a question of the Delegation of the United States of America, said that such an increase could be covered by the existing budget.

In conclusion, the following decisions were taken:

    (i) A Committee of Experts on the protocol concerning audiovisual performances will be convened for September 15 and 16, 1997, and an Information Meeting concerning intellectual property in databases will be convened for September 17 and 18, 1997. September 19, 1997, will be reserved for the adoption of the reports of both the Committee of Experts and the Information Meeting.

    (ii) The International Bureau will, separately for each of the two subjects, prepare a document on the existing national and regional laws and regulations. Furthermore, the International Bureau will invite the Governments of the Member States of WIPO and the European Community by circular to communicate to it in writing information on the de facto situation, particularly contractual practices, existing in their respective countries, as well as any official statistics.

    (iii) The number of WIPO Member States for which WIPO will finance the participation in the way described in paragraph 5(a) of document AB/XXX/2 and in paragraph 6(a) of document AB/XXX/3 will be increased by 30 % in respect of each group of countries mentioned therein.

The Delegation of Côte d'Ivoire, on behalf of the African Group, requested the following statement to be recorded:

    "The African Group wishes to make the following statement, which it requests you to incorporate in the report of the present meeting of the WIPO Governing Bodies.

    "The African Group, on the basis of the Resolution adopted at the WIPO Diplomatic Conference on Certain Copyright and Neighboring Rights Questions, which was held in Geneva in December 1996 and which resulted in the adoption of two treaties concerning copyright on the one hand and performances and phonograms on the other;

    "declares that it adheres to the spirit as well as the letter of the Resolution, according to which it is extremely important to ensure an adequate level of protection for performances in the new digital environment, and there is an urgent need to agree on new norms for their adequate legal international protection.

    "emphasizes that the international legal protection of expressions of folklore is an essential matter not only for the countries of the African continent but also for other countries of the world.

    "requests, on the basis of the conclusions and other recommendations that will be adopted at the meeting to be held in Phuket, Thailand, from April 8 to 10, 1997, that reflection may continue on the drafting of an international legal instrument for the protection of expressions of folklore, and also on the working out of a timetable culminating in the adoption of such an instrument."


ITEM 4bis OF THE CONSOLIDATED AGENDA:

PROPOSAL FROM THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA CONCERNING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN AD HOC INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES COMMITTEE AND PROPOSED DECISIONS CONCERNING SCHEDULING OF MEETINGS OF THIS AND RELATED COMMITTEES

See the report of the session of the WIPO General Assembly (document WO/GA/XX/3).


ITEM 4ter OF THE CONSOLIDATED AGENDA:

PROPOSAL FROM THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF THE CENTRAL AND EAST EUROPEAN REGION IN WIPO

See the report of the session of the WIPO General Assembly (document WO/GA/XX/3).


ITEM 5 OF THE CONSOLIDATED AGENDA:

STAFF MATTERS

See the report of the session of the WIPO Coordination Committee (document WO/CC/XXXVIII/2).


ITEM 6 OF THE CONSOLIDATED AGENDA:

ADOPTION OF THE GENERAL REPORT AND OF THE INDIVIDUAL REPORTS OF THE VARIOUS SESSIONS

This General Report was unanimously adopted by the Governing Bodies concerned on March 21, 1997.

Each of the three Governing Bodies unanimously adopted the separate Reports concerning its session, at a separate meeting of the Governing Body concerned on March 21, 1997.


ITEM 7 OF THE CONSOLIDATED AGENDA:

CLOSING OF THE SESSIONS

After the usual interventions, the thirtieth series of meetings of the Governing Bodies of WIPO and the Unions administered by it were closed by the Chairman of the WIPO General Assembly.

[End of document]


 

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