Copyright Discussions at WIPO

Geneva, October 30, 1998
Press Releases PR/1998/145

The World Intellectual Property Organization will be holding for the first time a session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights in Geneva from November 2 to 10, 1998. The discussions will address the following issues:

1. Protection of Audiovisual Performances

The substantive debate on a Protocol concerning audiovisual performances to the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) is to be continued in order to provide protection to performers with respect to the audiovisual fixations of their performances. This particularly concerns the rights of actors in relation to television films and programs. The protection of audiovisual performances remains a basic issue since they are not covered, or only covered in part, by the existing international treaties.

2. Protection of Databases

Discussions will address the possible need to protect certain databases. In order to enjoy protection under copyright, databases have to constitute intellectual creations by reason of the choice or arrangement of the material. However, there remain a large number of databases that are not protected creations despite the fact that they represent considerable investment, such as telephone directories and meteorological databases. The issue of database protection is an essential one since the new technologies mean that it is now very easy to copy them, particularly where they are computerized.

3. Protection of the Rights of Broadcasting Organizations

The Committee will examine current legislation at international, regional and national levels relating to the protection of the rights of broadcasting organizations in order to determine possible new norms at international level. The broadcasting organizations are not covered by the WPPT. The protection that they enjoy nevertheless needs updating, particularly in the context of the new technologies such as Internet.

4. The Standing Committee

The Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights was set up under the 1998-1999 biennium in order to examine matters of substantive law or of harmonization in the field of copyright and related rights. By reason of its technical expertise and the breadth of representation of Member States, the Standing Committee is able to advance discussion on the substance of this issue to the point where the main characteristics of the possible solution are clear, and then to formulate recommendations for consideration by the General Assembly or the appropriate form and procedural steps for a solution to be adopted and implemented.

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

Tel.: (+41 22) 338 98 24 or 338 95 47
Fax: (+41 22) 338 88 10