China Hails Signing of WIPO Audiovisual Treaty

The diplomatic conference to finalize a new treaty for audiovisual performances was successfully concluded on June 26, 2012 as negotiators from 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.

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry thanked the Chinese government and the Municipality of Beijing for the outstanding organization of the Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of Audiovisual Performances. Mr. 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,” He said. He 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.

The conference met from June 20 to 26, 2012, bring an end to over 12 years of negotiations held under WIPO auspices. The event was attended by 721 delegates from 202 delegations.

As a new and the first international IPR treaty born in China, the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances (BTAP) would extend the protection for audiovisual performers, granting them both economic and moral rights similar to those already recognized for music performers. Such an instrument would also contribute to safeguarding the rights of performers against the unauthorized use of their performances in audiovisual media, such as television, film and video. National Copyright Administration of China (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. He said he believes that the finalization of BTAP will greatly boost international cooperation on the protection of IPR and will balance the interests of the performers, producers and scriptwriters.

Mr. Gurry said he was impressed by China’s remarkable achievements made in IPR system construction at the time when China transferred from an agricultural country to an industrial country over the past 30 years. Mr. Liu Binjie said that in hosting the conference and contributing to the signing of the treaty, it will further advance the development of China's IPR protection and China will grasp this opportunity to further strengthen IPR protection and make contributions to the international IPR protection.

According to Deputy Mayor of Beijing Lu Wei, BTAP is of great significance to promoting cultural development in Beijing and the city will continue to improve the regulations in protecting IPR and protecting rights of performers, so that greater fortune will be created by the intangible assets and economic structure will be optimized.

Welcoming the excellent atmosphere that characterized the talks, the international actors and representatives from other international associations expressed their warm congratulations to signing BTAP. As the treaty will shore up the rights of audiovisual performers, it will inspire their enthusiasm to create, promote spread of the art works and advance progress of cultural and creative industry.

(China IP News)