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Accession to the WIPO Treaties

This decision promotes the community's accession to two treaties concluded in December 1996 under the aegis of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO): the Copyright treaty and the Performances and Phonograms treaty.

ACT

Council Decision of 16 March 2000, on the approval on behalf of the European Community of the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty [Not published in the Official Journal].

SUMMARY

Context 
The Conventions of Paris (protection of industrial property) and Bern (protection of literary and artistic works) form the basis of the WIPO Treaties. Subsequent treaties extended the protection offered by taking account of technical developments and new fields of interest (e.g. the information society).

The WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) aim to update international protection of copyright and related rights in the Internet age, by supplementing the provisions of the Bern Convention to adapt them to the digital environment.

WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) 
According to the provisions of the Treaty, authors will enjoy legal protection for the distribution, commercial rental and communication to the public of their works on the network. Specific protection is also provided for technical operations and systems for identifying and managing works.

WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) 
This Treaty concerns related rights and improves the protection of artists/performers and producers of phonograms. They enjoy exclusive rights for the copying, distribution, commercial rental and making of their performances and phonograms available to the public via networks. They also have a right of remuneration for broadcasting and any other means of communication to the public for commercial purposes.

Accession of the Community 
In the Decision, the Council approves the two WIPO Treaties on behalf of the Community and authorises the Commission to represent the Community at the meetings of the Assemblies referred to in the Treaties. The Commission may also negotiate in this context on the basis of briefs agreed beforehand by the Commission and the Council within the competent Council working party or at ad hoc meetings. For the first time, the Community as such may become party to WIPO Treaties in the field of copyright and neighbouring rights.

Entry into force of the Treaties 
These Treaties will enter into force three months after 30 instruments of ratification or accession have been submitted to WIPO.

The Community's instruments of ratification will be deposited following the deadline for the Member States' transposition of the legislation necessary to adapt Community legislation to the content of the Treaties. The legislation in question is the Directive on copyright and related rights in the information society, which was adopted on 22 May 2001 and the deadline for transposition of which is 22 December 2002.

Last updated: 28.05.2006
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