December 2000 Diplomatic Conference to Address Rights in Audiovisual Performances

Geneva, April 14, 2000
Press Releases PR/2000/217

Member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) have endorsed the convening of a Diplomatic Conference from December 7 to 20, 2000 to establish an international agreement on the rights of performers in their audiovisual performances. This issue topped the agenda of an intensive round of discussions this week at WIPO headquarters. Representatives of 74 member states and the European Community, meeting under the auspices of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), recommended by consensus, the holding of a Diplomatic Conference to build on the existing protection of performers rights provided for under the Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations (1961). The meeting was also attended by five intergovernmental organizations and 34 non-governmental organizations, including representatives from the film industry.

The SCCR's recommendation was endorsed by an extraordinary session of the WIPO General Assembly which met on April 13 & 14. The Assembly mandated the Director General of WIPO, Dr. Kamil Idris, to decide on an appropriate venue for the Diplomatic Conference. The new international agreement to be established will address the moral and economic rights of performers in audiovisual performances and will also adapt the protection of those rights to the digital environment.

The question of performers' rights in their audiovisual performances has been the subject of debate since the conclusion of the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) in December 1996. At that time, WIPO member states opted to address this question as a separate issue instead of as part of that treaty.

The making of a film or other audiovisual work involves contributions from many different individuals often from many different countries. Increasingly, the film productions that are delivered to our cinema and television screens are produced and financed across national borders. Such arrangements underline the importance of creating an international operating environment which clearly defines the intellectual property rights of all parties involved.

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