Negotiations on The Protection of Broadcasting Organizations Enters Final Phase

Geneva, September 13, 2006
Press Releases PR/2006/454

A key committee of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) agreed today to convene a diplomatic conference from July 11 to August 1, 2007 to update the rights of broadcasting organizations. This recommendation is to be endorsed by the WIPO General Assembly when it meets later this month. The objective of this diplomatic conference, the last phase of treaty negotiations, is to conclude a treaty on the protection of broadcasting organizations, including cablecasting organizations.

A resolution adopted by the WIPO General Assembly in October 2005 scheduled two additional meetings of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) "to agree and finalize a Basic Proposal for a treaty on the protection of the rights of broadcasting organizations in order to enable the 2006 WIPO General Assembly to recommend the convening of a Diplomatic Conference in December 2006 or at an appropriate date in 2007."

The SCCR agreed that a draft basic proposal presented at this week's meeting would constitute the basis for negotiations at the diplomatic conference with the understanding that member states may submit proposals at that conference.

WIPO Director General, Dr. Kamil Idris, welcomed the positive outcome of the meeting as well as the political will demonstrated by member states to conclude the negotiations. He said "The positive spirit that has characterized these discussions will further strengthen consensus on these issues in the months leading up to the diplomatic conference." Dr. Idris said "The success of this process hinges on the continued inclusiveness of the debate which seeks to reach an agreement that is balanced and serves the common interests of all stakeholders."

The Committee also agreed, following endorsement of their recommendation by the WIPO General Assembly, to convene a one day preparatory committee in January 2007 to prepare the necessary modalities of the diplomatic conference. The preparatory committee considers the draft rules of procedure to be presented for adoption to the diplomatic conference, the lists of states, as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to be invited to participate in the conference as well as other organizational matters. A special two-day meeting will be held in conjunction with the preparatory meeting to further clarify outstanding issues.

Delegates also agreed that WIPO would organize, at the request of member states, consultations and information meetings on matters relating to the diplomatic conference. Such meetings would be hosted by the inviting member state.

Discussions at this week's session (15th session) of the SCCR were confined to the protection of traditional broadcasting organizations and cablecasting. This followed a decision by the 14th session of the SCCR from 1 to 5 May, 2006, to examine questions of webcasting and simulcasting on a separate track following the forthcoming session of the WIPO Assemblies meetings from 25 September to 3 October, 2006.

Updating the IP rights of broadcasters, currently provided by the 1961 Rome Convention on the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations, began at WIPO in 1997. A growing signal piracy problem in many parts of the world, including piracy of digitized pre-broadcast signals, has made this need more acute.

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