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Memorandum Prepared by the Chairman of the Committees of Experts


Memorandum Prepared by the Chairman of the Committees of Experts


1. In 1989, the Assembly and the Conference of Representatives of the Berne Union adopted the program of WIPO making a provision for convening a Committee of Experts to examine questions concerning a possible protocol to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (hereinafter referred to as "the Berne Convention"). The objective of convening the Committee of Experts was to examine whether the preparation of a protocol to the Berne Convention should commence. According to the WIPO program for the 1990-91 biennium "[t]he protocol would be mainly destined to clarify the existing, or establish new, international norms where, under the present text of the Berne Convention, doubts may exist as to the extent to which that Convention applies" (document AB/XX/2, Annex A, item PRG.02(2)).

2. The Committee of Experts was convened in two sessions, the first in November 1991 and the second in February 1992. The sessions were started on the basis of working documents covering a broad range of topic areas including the subject matter of copyright, certain particular rights, the applicability of minima, and the obligation of granting national treatment. Among the qouestions concerning subject matter was the desirability of covering the rights of producers of sound recordings in the protocol.

3. The Assembly and the Conference of Representatives of the Berne Union determined in 1992 that the work of the Committee of Experts would be most effectively advanced by the formation of two Committees of Experts, one for the preparation of a possible protocol to the Berne Convention and the other for the preparation of a possible new instrument on the protection of the rights of performers and producers of phonograms (document B/A/XIII/2).

4. The Committee of Experts on a Possible Protocol to the Berne Convention was charged with the responsibility of considering ten specific items: (1) computer programs, (2) databases, (3) rental rights, (4) non-voluntary licences for sound recordings of musical works, (5) non-voluntary licences for primary broadcasting and satellite communication, (6) distribution rights, including an importation right, (7) duration of the protection of photographic works, (8) communication to the public by satellite broadcasting, (9) enforcement of rights, and (10) national treatment.

5. The Committee of Experts on a Possible Instrument for the Protection of the Rights of Performers and Producers of Phonograms was charged with the responsibility of discussing all questions concerning the effective international protection of the rights of performers and producers of phonograms. This broad charge left unresolved whether the Committee should consider the rights of performers to extend exclusively to the fixation of their performances in phonograms or also to audiovisual fixations.

6. The Committee of Experts on a Possible Protocol to the Berne Convention then held five further sessions, the third in June 1993, the fourth in December 1994, the fifth in September 1995, the sixth in February 1996 and the seventh in May 1996.

7. The Committee of Experts on a Possible Instrument for the Protection of the Rights of the Performers and Producers of Phonograms held six sessions, the first in June-July 1993, the second in November 1993, the third in December 1994, the fourth in September 1995, the fifth in February 1996 and the sixth in May 1996.

8. The last three sessions of the two Committees (referred to subsequently as the Committees of Experts) were convened on the same dates, and parts of the sessions were held jointly.

9. The work of the Committees of Experts was based on memoranda prepared by the International Bureau of WIPO until December 1994. Following the recommendation of the Committees of Experts, the Director General of WIPO invited Government members of the Committees and the European Commission to submit proposals for discussion at the September 1995 and February 1996 sessions.

10. As a result of this invitation from the Director General, the International Bureau received written proposals and comments from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Community and its Member States, Japan, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, the Sudan, the United States of America, and Uruguay.

11. The Committees of Experts recommended at the February 1996 sessions that a Diplomatic Conference for the conclusion of appropriate treaties be held in December 1996. From May 20 to 24, 1996, meetings were held in Geneva by the Preparatory Committee of the Proposed Diplomatic Conference, the General Assembly of WIPO and the Assembly of the Berne Union. The Preparatory Committee and the Assemblies decided that a WIPO Diplomatic Conference on Certain Copyright and Neighboring Rights Questions would be convened from December 2 to 20, 1996.

12. The Chairman of the Committees of Experts was entrusted at the February 1996 sessions with the task of preparing the draft texts ("the basic proposals") for the Diplomatic Conference; the WIPO International Bureau was to publish and circulate these draft texts by September 1, 1996, to the States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to be invited to the Diplomatic Conference. The Director General of WIPO proposed that the International Bureau would prepare the draft of the final clauses of the treaty or treaties. The draft Final Clauses prepared by the Director General (document CRNR/PM/2) were examined by the Preparatory Committee of the Proposed Diplomatic Conference in May 1996.

13. In the introduction to the draft Final Clauses, the Director General of WIPO stated: "On the basis of the deliberations of the Committees of Experts, it is assumed that the aim of the Diplomatic Conference will be to adopt one or more multilateral treaty or treaties on questions of copyright, on questions of two branches (one concerning performing artists, the other concerning producers of phonograms) of neighboring rights and, perhaps, also on questions concerning a sui generis protection of data bases."

14. There is no decision on the number of treaties to be proposed for adoption by the Diplomatic Conference in December 1996. The Committees of Experts have made no recommendation on this issue, and after extensive discussion, the question was left open in the May 1996 meetings of the Preparatory Committee, the General Assembly of WIPO and the Assembly of the Berne Union. In this respect, the mandate given to the Chairman of the Committees of Experts was therefore open and included the possibility of establishing draft texts for one, two or three treaties.15. Basic Proposals for the substantive provisions of three treaties are proposed by the Chairman of the Committees of Experts:

1. "Treaty on Certain Questions Concerning the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works",

2. "Treaty for the Protection of the Rights of Performers and Producers of Phonograms",

3. "Treaty on Intellectual Property in Respect of Databases".

16. It is the assessment of the Chairman of the Committees of Experts that the expectations of the majority of Delegations participating in the meetings referred to in paragraphs 6, 7 and 11 are most closely met by proposing three draft texts. The Diplomatic Conference has the power to combine separate draft treaties into one single treaty should it find this course of action appropriate. A combined text would have several advantages, and such an option may be viewed as one of legal technique; on the other hand, a single text approach would entail certain political and doctrinal considerations. For example, Governments contemplating ratification of or accession to such a single text would have to analyze and consider implementation of the whole contents of the combined instrument.

17. The present set of draft substantive provisions of the Basic Proposals referred to in paragraph 15, of which the present document is one, have been prepared by the Chairman of the Committees of Experts according to decisions made by the Committees at their February 1996 sessions. The Basic Proposal for the Administrative and Final Clauses of all these proposed Treaties have been submitted by the Director General of WIPO in a separate document.

18. The present document sets forth the substantive provisions of the Basic Proposal of the Treaty on Certain Questions Concerning the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. There are 16 Articles preceded by a Preamble. Each provision is accompanied by explanatory Notes.

19. The purpose of the explanatory Notes is:

(i) to explain briefly the contents and rationale of the proposals and to offer guidelines for understanding and interpreting specific provisions,

(ii) to indicate the reasoning behind the proposals, and

(iii) to include references to proposals and comments made at sessions of the Committees of Experts, as well as references to models and points of comparison found in existing treaties.

20. The present Basic Proposal has been prepared on the basis of the proposals made during the work of the Committees of Experts and taking into account discussions in the Committees of Experts. These proposals have been carefully studied, and portions of them appear in several places in the proposed Treaty, sometimes in a reformulated or combined format. Additional elements have been introduced where necessary, and not all elements of all proposals are reflected in the proposed Treaty. In some instances, alternative solutions are proposed, but the number of proposed alternatives is limited. Alternatives have been designated in the text using capital letters in accordance with Rule 29(b) of the draft Rules of Procedure for the Diplomatic Conference. One of the proposed alternative solutions includes an Annex with special provisions on enforcement.

21. In the present Basic Proposal reference is often made without the document number to the proposals presented by the Government members and the European Community and its Member States for the sessions of the Committees of Experts. The proposals presented for the session of February 1 to 9, 1996 of the Committee of Experts on a Possible Protocol to the Berne Convention were the following:

The European Community and its Member States (BCP/CE/VI/2)

Argentina (BCP/CE/VI/3)

China (BCP/CE/VI/4)

Uruguay (BCP/CE/VI/5)

Australia (BCP/CE/VI/6)

Brazil (BCP/CE/VI/7)

The United States of America (BCP/CE/VI/8)

Japan (BCP/CE/VI/9)

Canada (BCP/CE/VI/10)

The Republic of Korea (BCP/CE/VI/11)

The Republic of Korea (BCP/CE/VI/11 Corr.)

22. Further contribution to the work of the Committees of Experts was brought about in the proposals presented by the participants in the African consultation meeting and the consultation meeting of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean before the February 1996 sessions of the Committees of Experts. The documents are the following:

Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia and Zambia (BCP/CE/VI/14)

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela (BCP/CE/VI/15)

23. For the session of May 22 to 24, 1996 of the Committees of Experts the following proposals were presented:

The European Community and its Member States (BCP/CE/VII/1-INR/CE/VI/1)

The Republic of Korea (BCP/CE/VII/3-INR/CE/VI/3)


 

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