2 WIPO Treaties Pass, Database Treaty doesn't.

Ewald (ewald@ctaz.net)
Fri, 20 Dec 1996 15:55:06 -0700


Today in Geneva two of the three WIPO treaties were approved. The
database treaty (No. 3) failed, but the treaties on Internet Copyright
(Treaty No. 1, for "the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works") and
the so-called the "new instrument" for the "Protection of The Rights of
Performers And Producers of Phonograms" (Treaty 2) were passed.

The treaties were changed from the August 30, 1996 drafts which had been
published on the Internet. We haven't had the opportunity to see the new
language yet, but reportedly there have been a few concessions to the
treaty critics.

I have been told that the controversial Article 7 of Treaty No. 1, which
concerns the "Right of Reproduction," was dropped at the last minute.
This was the Article which deals with "direct and indirect reproduction of
their works, whether permanent or temporary, in any manner or form." If
this is true, this is a significant victory for the critics of the treaty.

In general, we are gratified that the database treaty was rejected -- in
our judgment this was the worst of the three treaties, by far.

We are also deeply disappointed that Treaties 1 and 2 were approved.
These both involved matters of first impression, and should not have been
legislated by government employees at a meeting of a United Nations Agency
before any national legislature (including our own) had addressed the most
important and controversial issues. The Librarian of Congress and many
others have expressed similar views.

The WIPO meetings are further evidence that in a wide range of important
areas, the relevant legislative body is often an International body, like
WIPO or the World Trade Organization (WTO), and it is increasingly
important for citizens to think AND act globally.

Much of the commentary about the WIPO proceedings is available from the
Union for the Public Domain (UPD) web page at http://www.public-domain.org

CPT held a press conference in Geneva, and the briefing document for that
press conferenc is at: http://www.public-domain.org/copyright/briefing.html

CPT also joined with several groups to send an open letter to the WIPO
delegates, which is at: http://www.public-domain.org/copyright/signon.html

More later.
jamie

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
James Love / love@tap.org / P.O. Box 19367, Washington, DC 20036
Voice: 202/387-8030; Fax 202/234-5176
Center for Study of Responsive Law
Consumer Project on Technology; http://www.essential.org/cpt
Taxpayer Assets Project; http://www.tap.org
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