General Assembly Approves Convening of Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of Broadcasting Organizations

Geneva, October 2, 2006
Press Releases PR/2006/460

In a move that signals entry into the final phase of treaty negotiations, the General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) agreed today to convene a diplomatic conference from November 19 to December 7, 2007 to update the rights of broadcasting organizations. The objective of this diplomatic conference is to conclude a treaty on the protection of broadcasting organizations, including cablecasting organizations.

The General Assembly decision lays out a roadmap for the last leg of negotiations. Two special sessions of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), the forum where formal negotiations have taken place, will be held "to clarify the outstanding issues." The General Assembly decision says that "the sessions of the SCCR should aim to agree and finalize, on a signal-based approach, the objectives, specific scope and object of protection." The SCCR sessions will be held in January and June 2007.

The General Assembly decision was taken on the basis of a recommendation made by the SCCR last month. The General Assembly also decided to convene a preparatory committee to prepare the necessary modalities of the diplomatic conference - 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 –in conjunction with the second meeting of the SCCR in June 2007.

Currently the Revised Basic Proposal (document SCCR/15/2) constitutes the Basic Proposal for the diplomatic conference. That said, the General Assembly decision states that the two meetings of the SCCR can bring agreed amendments to document SCCR/15/2. The General Assembly decided that the diplomatic conference will be convened "if such agreement is achieved," noting "if no such agreement is achieved, all further discussions will be based on Document SCCR/15/2."

It was 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.

The discussions are 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 current meeting of the WIPO Assemblies (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.

For further information, please contact the Media Relations and Public Affairs Section at WIPO:

  • Tel: (+41 22) 338 81 61 or (+41 22) 338 95 47;
  • E-mail:
  • Fax: (+41 22) 338 82 80.