Cabo Verde Accedes to Three Key WIPO Copyright Treaties

April 4, 2019

In a meeting with Cabo Verde’s Minister of Culture and Creative Industries Abraão Vicente, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry welcomed on April 4, 2019, Cabo Verde’s recent accession to three key copyright treaties – the two so-called “Internet Treaties” and the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.

Cabo Verde’s instruments of accession to the three treaties, signed by President Jorge Carlos Fonseca, were formally deposited with WIPO on February 22, 2019. The treaties will enter into force for Cabo Verde on May 22, 2019. Mr. Vincente took advantage of his visit to Geneva to attend WIPO’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights and to meet with Mr. Gurry to discuss bilateral cooperation and implementation of the treaties.

Membership to these treaties will boost the rights of creators in Cabo Verde. WIPO’s copyright treaties are the building blocks of the international copyright system. They form a consistent, comprehensive and complementary legal system, which creates, generates and preserves value from the rights of authors, performers, producers of sound recordings and broadcasting organizations. They invigorate and boost the diverse industries associated with these professions – books, music, film, press, broadcasting, video games, computer programs, apps, databases, and more.

The Internet Treaties

When it acceded in February, Cabo Verde became the 100th contracting party to WIPO’s “Internet Treaties” - the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) – which updated and supplemented the major existing WIPO treaties on copyright and related rights to respond to developments in technology and in the marketplace. Since then, the Cook Islands also acceded to the two treaties, bringing the number of contracting parties to 101.

Adopted in 1996, the WIPO Internet Treaties updated the multilateral copyright system set forth in older treaties such as the 1886 Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and the 1961 Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations for the digital era.

By joining these treaties, Cabo Verde has taken an important step to support the development of its creative industries, including the exploitation of their creative outputs through the Internet.

The WCT deals with protection for authors of literary and artistic works, such as writings and computer programs; original databases; musical works; audiovisual works; works of fine art and photographs; whereas the WPPT deals with protection for related rights of performers and producers of phonograms.

Among other things, both the WCT and the WPPT address the challenges posed by today's digital technologies, in particular the dissemination of protected material over digital networks such as the Internet. For this reason, they are often referred to as the "Internet Treaties."

The WIPO Internet Treaties provide creators and artists the tools needed to benefit from the exploitation of their creations both in their own country and in other countries that are parties to the treaties. This is an important factor in supporting and sustaining a creative economy in a digital environment.

Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled

Cabo Verde also joined the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. While the Marrakesh Treaty has 55 contracting parties, it covers 82 countries owing to the recent accession of the European Union.

The Marrakesh Treaty requires its contracting parties to adopt national law provisions that permit the reproduction, distribution and making available of published works in accessible formats – such as Braille - through limitations and exceptions to the rights of copyright rightholders.

It also provides for the exchange of these accessible format works across borders by organizations that serve the people who are blind, visually impaired, and print disabled. It will harmonize limitations and exceptions so that these organizations can operate across borders.

In addition, the Treaty is designed to provide assurances to authors and publishers that that system will not expose their published works to misuse or distribution to anyone other than the intended beneficiaries.