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WIPO Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances Concluded

26-Jun-2012 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 6813
BEIJING - The diplomatic conference to finalize a new treaty for audiovisual performers was successfully concluded on June 26, 2012 as negotiators from World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)’s member states signed the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances– so-named in recognition of the city that hosted the final round of negotiations.

According to WIPO, the new treaty brings audiovisual performers into the fold of the international copyright framework in a comprehensive way, for the first time.

Welcoming the excellent atmosphere that characterized the talks, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry thanked the Government of China and the Municipality of Beijing for the outstanding organization of the Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of Audiovisual Performances which met from June 20 to 26, 2012. He expressed gratitude particularly to the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) and the Municipality of Beijing for taking the lead in staging the Diplomatic Conference and for their generosity.

The President’s gavel brought an end to over 12 years of negotiations held under WIPO auspices. Gurry hailed this major development in the history of international copyright as a success of the multilateral system. “The conclusion of the Beijing Treaty is an important milestone toward closing the gap in the international rights' system for audiovisual performers and reflects the collaborative nature of the multilateral process,” Gurry said. He noted that “the international copyright framework will no longer discriminate against one set of performers.”

Gurry expressed hope that member states would continue to build on the excellent “spirit of Beijing” to take forward the work of the Organization in other key areas.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee Liu Qi, described the Treaty as the pride of Beijing. ”Respect for IP is a must,” he said. “We will grasp this opportunity to further strengthen intellectual property and build Beijing as the first city of IP.”

NCAC Minister Liu Binjie, who presided over the Diplomatic Conference, praised the “constructive climate, spirit of cooperation, flexibility and pragmatism demonstrated by all the delegations” and appealed to member states to expedite the process of ratification and accession to the Treaty.

The closing ceremony was also attended Mayor of Beijing Guo Jinlong, NCAC Minister Liu Binjie, Vice Minister of NCAC Yan Xiaohong and Deputy Mayor of Beijing Lu Wei.
The Diplomatic Conference was opened by China State Counselor Liu Yandong and Beijing Deputy Mayor Lu Wei.

At the opening of the Conference actors from around the world – including American Meryl Streep, Brazilian Sonia Braga, Chinese Mei Baojiu and Spanish actors Javier Bardem and Antonio Banderas – appealed for adoption of the treaty. In a closing message, international actors present at the Diplomatic Conference hailed the successful conclusion of the treaty. Chinese performer Wang Xiaotang, Indian film producer Bobbi Bedi and International Federation of Actors (FIA) President Agnette Haaland addressed delegates at the closing of the Conference.

The Diplomatic Conference was attended by 156 member states, 6 intergovernmental organizations and 45 non-governmental organizations. This is the highest level of participation ever at a WIPO Diplomatic Conference. 122 countries signed the Final Act of the treaty, which is a record that the conference took place.

Entry into Force

The Treaty will enter into force once it has been ratified by 30 eligible parties, including countries or certain intergovernmental organizations.

Signature of the treaty constitutes a preliminary endorsement by demonstrating the state’s intent to examine the treaty domestically and consider ratification, though signing does not create a binding legal obligation to ratify.

Ratification or accession signifies an agreement to be legally bound by the terms of the treaty. Though accession has the same legal effect as ratification, the procedures differ. In the case of ratification, the state first signs and then ratifies the treaty. The procedure for accession has only one step and is therefore not preceded by an act of signature.

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