A diplomatic conference in Beijing successfully concluded with the recent signing of an international treaty for audiovisual performances called the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO’s) Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances (BTAP). The treaty, a result of 12 years of negotiations under WIPO auspices, will now enter into force once it has been ratified by 30 eligible parties, including countries or certain intergovernmental organizations which have fulfilled all the necessary domestic legal requirements.
We appreciate that governments understand that copyright standards need to be updated to respond to technological changes in order to ensure the continued production of cultural materials other than on an amateur basis. It’s worth noting that the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) were themselves negotiated over 15 years ago – which is an eternity given changes in technology.
After listening to all the closing statements at the conference, it was interesting to hear the many interventions from developing countries highlighting the importance of fighting piracy to promote economic development, employment and cultural diversity – underscoring the fact that effective copyright protection, in law and practice, is an issue that unites creators regardless of where they are located.
We hope that WIPO will soon turn its attention to updating protection against signal piracy, and to considering ways of enhancing the fight against piracy of all original content in an Internet environment dominated by theft and unfair competition.
Neil Turkewitz, EVP, International, RIAA