Accept Refuse

EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Summaries of EU Legislation

Accession to the World Intellectual Property Organisation treaties

Go to the summaries’ table of contents

Accession to the World Intellectual Property Organisation treaties

 

SUMMARY OF:

Decision 2000/278/EC approving the World Intellectual Property Organisation Copyright Treaty and the World Intellectual Property Organisation Performances and Phonograms Treaty on behalf of the EU

World Intellectual Property Organisation Copyright Treaty — Joint declarations

World Intellectual Property Organisation Performances and Phonograms Treaty — Joint declarations

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DECISION AND OF THE TREATIES?

The decision approves 2 treaties concluded in December 1996 on behalf of the European Community (now the EU). The treaties in question are the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT).

The aim of the WCT and the WPPT, also known as the WIPO ‘internet’ treaties, is to adapt the international protection of copyright and related rights to the internet age by supplementing the content of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

KEY POINTS

WCT

Under this treaty, authors are provided with the exclusive rights of distribution and rental and with a broader right of communication to the public of their works in the digital environment. Computer programs are protected as literary works and the arrangement or selection of data or other material in databases is also protected. Specific protection is also provided for technological measures and electronic rights management information used to identify and manage works.

WPPT

This treaty concerns related rights and improves the protection of artists/performers and producers of phonograms (i.e. recordings), particularly in the digital environment. They enjoy exclusive rights for the reproduction, distribution, rental and making available to the public of their performances and phonograms. They also receive a right to equitable remuneration for broadcasting or for any communication to the public of their phonograms published for commercial purposes.

Accession of the EU

In its decision of 16 March 2000, the Council approved the 2 treaties on behalf of the EU and authorised the European Commission to represent the EU at the meetings of the Assemblies referred to in the treaties. According to this decision, the position of the EU will be prepared by the relevant Council working party. For the first time, the EU became party to WIPO treaties in the field of copyright and neighbouring rights.

FROM WHEN DO THE DECISION AND THE TREATIES APPLY?

These treaties entered into force 3 months after 30 instruments of ratification or accession by states were submitted to the WIPO.

The EU’s instruments of ratification were deposited by the EU and the EU countries on 14 December 2009 after all the EU countries had incorporated into their national law Directive 2001/29/EC on copyright and related rights in the information society, which adapted EU legislation to the content of the treaties.

BACKGROUND

The conventions of Paris (protection of industrial property, 1883) and Berne (protection of literary and artistic works, 1886) form the basis of the WIPO treaties. Subsequent treaties extended the protection offered to other subject matters (e.g. performance, phonograms) by taking account of technical developments and new fields of interest (e.g. the information society).

The last WIPO treaty ratified by the EU (in 2018) is the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled. Its aim is to improve the availability and cross-border exchange of certain works and other protected subject matter in accessible formats for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled. Parties to the treaty have the freedom to implement its provisions, taking into account their own legal systems and practices, complying with the obligations set out in the Berne Convention.

For more information, see:

MAIN DOCUMENTS

Council Decision 2000/278/EC of 16 March 2000 on the approval, on behalf of the European Community, of the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (OJ L 89, 11.4.2000, pp. 6-7)

WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) — Joint declarations (OJ L 89, 11.4.2000, pp. 8-14)

WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) — Joint declarations (OJ L 89, 11.4.2000, pp. 15-23)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled (OJ L 48, 21.2.2018, pp. 3-11)

Council Decision (EU) 2018/254 of 15 February 2018 on the conclusion on behalf of the European Union of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled (OJ L 48, 21.2.2018, p. 1-2)

Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society (OJ L 167, 22.6.2001, pp. 10-19)

Successive amendments to Directive 2001/29/EC have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

last update 25.02.2019

Top