1709 Blog: for all the copyright community

Thursday, 7 January 2010

"Slightly Divided We Stand": the EU, its Member States and the WIPO Treaties

By WCT Notification No. 76 the 1709 Blog learns that
"The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) presents his compliments to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and has the honor to notify him of the deposit, on December 14, 2009, by the Government of the Republic of Malta of its instrument of accession to the WIPO Copyright Treaty, adopted at Geneva on December 20, 1996, as well as the deposit by the Council of the European Union and the Governments of the Republic of Austria, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Finland, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Hellenic Republic, Ireland, the Republic of Italy, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Portuguese Republic, the Kingdom of Spain, the Kingdom of Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, of their instruments of ratification of the said Treaty".
That's not all, though. Like Romeo and Juliet, Strawerries and Cream, Tom and Jerry and Minneapolis and St Paul, the WIPO Copyright Treaty is virtually inseparable from its non-identical partner, the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. By WPPT Notification No. 78 this blog notes that the same selection of jurisdictions has acceded or ratified that Treaty too. This notification however continues:
"The instruments of ratification of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Republic of Finland, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Kingdom of Sweden contained the following declarations, respectively:

- "in accordance with Article 3(3) of the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT), the Kingdom of Denmark declares that it avails itself of the faculty provided in Article 5(3) of the International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations (Rome Convention (1961)) in the sense that Denmark will not apply the criterion of publication in Article 5(1)(c) of the Rome Convention."

- "Pursuant to Article 3(3) of the Treaty the Republic of Finland avails itself of the possibilities provided in Article 17 of the International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations (Rome Convention) and refers to the notification made at the time of ratification by Finland of the Rome Convention, stating that it will apply, for the purposes of Article 5 of the said Convention, the criterion of fixation alone and, for the purposes of Article 16, paragraph 1(a)(iv), the criterion of fixation instead of the criterion of nationality."

- "The Government of the French Republic declares, in accordance with Article 3(3) of the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT), that it avails itself of the faculty provided in Article 5(3) of the International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations (Rome Convention of October 26, 1961), and that instead of the criterion of first publication it will apply the criterion of first fixation."

- "In accordance with Article 3(3) of the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT), the Federal Republic of Germany declares that it avails itself of the faculty provided in Article 5(3) of the International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations (Rome Convention (1961)) in the sense that it will not apply the criterion of fixation laid down in Article 5(1)(b) thereof."

- "The Kingdom of Sweden declares, in accordance with Article 3(3) of the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty with reference to Article 5(3) of the International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations, that Sweden will not apply the criterion of publication, with the exception of the reproduction right for phonogram producers."
So much for copyright in the European Union being a 'level playing field' ... However, both treaties enter into force, with respect to the European Union and the relevant Member States, on 14 March 2010.

nb The European Commission's welcome for these developments was recorded in a press release on 14 December 2009 (here), as previously recorded on this weblog.

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