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WIPO Move towards Treaty To Protect Audiovisual Performances

wipo3The recent Assembly at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) demonstrated a significant move by a number of emerging countries to enhance their infrastructure to promote and secure intellectual property rights.

In order to ensure economic stability and to reflect the increasing output of intellectual property output, nation states recognised the need to recognise and enforce better protection of IP in their respective countries.

One of the key initiatives to emanate from the WIPO Assembly is a call to organise a global diplomatic conference to discuss ways to promote and protect the interests of televisual performances. The conference is pencilled for next summer and Blue Pencil will be following the discussions and outcomes.

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said “While some countries have domestic legislation that grants certain rights to performers in audiovisual works there is a legal vacuum at the international level. Performers have not had control over how and when their performances are used abroad nor any legal right to payment”

Although at a local level whether on a national basis, or regional basis initiatives exist to protect the rights of the performer whether actor, musician, composer or writer the increasing use of the Internet and Android devices to watch and listen to content is requiring a more universal set of rules.

Technology and physical borders were means of protecting and controlling the exploitation of performances, but an gradual but growing shift in viewing habits to the Internet and the near universal availability of material  has given rise to this much needed and timely review of this area of IP protection.

New markets exist for content and the surface has yet to be scratched, and if next year a clear treaty can be agreed it will help to bolster protection of audiovisual performances both in the exploitation of film, television and video, but also through digital networks.

It is hoped that as part of the reforms the conference takes account of the need to protect script content, formats as well as the contribution of actors, musicians and dancers.

Although Blue Pencil will be covering the development and implementation of the outcome from the conference, we also wish to reflect to WIPO the concerns of our audience as well as their proposed solutions or remedies.

Please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; your contribution could help make a difference to the protection of the creative industries at an international level.

Julian Wilkins

Julian Wilkins is Editorial Director for Blue Pencil Media Limited. Julian has a LLB (Hons) in law and M.Phil in law as well as a Diploma in European law and was admitted as a solicitor in 1988; he practices in the area of media, entertainment, and intellectual property law as a consultant for Devereaux Solicitors in London. Julian is also a Notary Public and CEDR accredited commercial mediator. Julian has written for academic publications and contributed to an Exhibition Catalogue about 1960s photographer Philip Townsend. Julian is a member of the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers and also the British Institute of International and Comparative law. Julian is a finalist in The Media Lunch Club “Short Circuit” script competition to be held in November 2011. Julian’s comments “The rapidly changing world economy and technology is presenting incredible opportunities for the Creative Industries and Blue Pencil hopes to reflect and contribute to these changes.”

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