Committee of Experts on a Protocol Concerning Audiovisual Performances

Geneva, June 12, 1998
Press Releases PR/1998/127

From June 8 to 12, the second session of the Committee of Experts on a Protocol Concerning Audiovisual Performances was held at the headquarters of WIPO.

It should be noted that the international norms for the protection of performers were harmonized and updated by the December 1996 WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT). However, when adopting that Treaty, the Diplomatic Conference opted for the protection of the sound aspect of performances, to the exclusion of their audiovisual aspects. It was mentioned at the time that the preparatory work should continue with a view to extending the application of the WPPT by the adoption of a protocol on the audiovisual aspects of performances.

During the present session, proposals from several States party to the WPPT were examined. Discussions bore particularly on a presumption of the transfer of performers' rights in the audiovisual field (cinema, television and the sale of videocassettes) towards producers in the absence of a specific clause in any contract. A similar presumption is contained in the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works in the case of authors of cinematographic works. The Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations still provides, to the dissatisfaction of performers, that they should automatically lose their rights at the moment they consent to the inclusion of their performances in a film.

The issue of a right to claim authorship of a work by performers in audiovisual works (moral right), which has not as yet been included in any international agreement, was also approached. However, this right already exists in the WPPT in favor of the performers of musical works.

Discussions will be continued in November 1998 when the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights will hold its first session, which could open the way towards a Diplomatic Conference at the close of 1999.

For more detailed information, please contact the Media Relations and Public Affairs Section of WIPO:

Tel.: (+41 22) 338 92 46
Fax: (+41 22) 338 88 10