WPPT enters into force

Geneva, May 20, 2002
Press Releases PR/2002/313


The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Phonograms and Performances Treaty (WPPT), one of two key treaties that adapt copyright law to the digital age, entered into force on May 20, 2002. The first of these so-called "Internet treaties", the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT), entered into force on March 6, 2002. The treaties set out the legal framework to safeguard the interests of creators in cyberspace and open new horizons for composers, artists, writers and others to use the Internet with confidence to create, distribute and control the use of their works within the digital environment.

"This is a milestone in the history of copyright law," said the Director General of WIPO, Dr. Kamil Idris. He underlined the importance of the new standards provided for in the WCT and the WPPT in creating an environment to foster the future development of the Internet, electronic commerce and culture and information industries.

The Director General urged the wide adoption of the treaties by countries in all regions of the world. "The entry into force of the WIPO ‘Internet treaties' is a significant first step in creating the conditions necessary for the broad-based and legitimate distribution of creative works and recordings on the Internet," Dr. Idris said, adding "The full benefit of these treaties will, however, hinge on their widespread adoption by countries in all regions of the world." The number of countries having ratified the WCT and WPPT currently stands at 35 and 34, respectively.

The WPPT modernizes and updates international standards of protection for performers —such as, singers, musicians, dancers and actors— set out in the 1961 Rome Convention, to cover use of their performances on the Internet. The Rome Convention and the WPPT, however, grant protection mainly in relation to sound recordings of performances, and only address the audiovisual aspects of performances to a very limited extent.

For more information about the WPPT and the WCT, please consult PR/300/2001 or contact the Media Relations and Public Affairs Section at +4122-3388161 or +4122-3389547 or publicinf@wipo.int.