Cabinet approves accession to WIPO Copyright Treaty and WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty

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The Union Cabinet has approved India’s accession to WIPO Copyright Treaty, 1996 and WIPO Performers and Phonograms Treaty, 1996 which extends coverage of copyright to the internet and digital environment.  The proposal was submitted by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Key Facts

The approval is step towards objective laid in National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy adopted by Government which aims to get value for IPRs through commercialization by providing guidance and support to EPR (End Point Royalties) owners about commercial opportunities of e-commerce through Internet and mobile platforms. Both treaties provide framework for creators and right owners to use technical tools to protect their works and safeguard information about their use i.e. Rights Management Information (RMI) and Protection of Technological Protection Measures (TPMs).

Benefits

These treaties will help India to enable creative right-holders enjoy fruit of their labour, through international copyright system that can be used to secure return on investment made in producing and distributing creative works. It will also facilitate international protection of domestic rights holder by providing them level-playing field in other countries as India already extends protection to foreign works through International Copyright order and these treaties will enable Indian right holders to get reciprocal protection abroad. It will instil confidence and distribute creative works in digital environment with return on investment and spur business growth and contribute to the development of a vibrant creative economy and cultural landscape.

Copyright Act, 1957

Copyright Act, 1957 governs the subject of copyright law in the country. Its administration was transferred to DIPP in March 2016. The Act was amended in 2012 to bring it in conformity, with WCT and WPPT. It includes amendment in definition of Communication to the public to make it applicable to digital environment (Section 2(ff)) as also introduced provisions related to Technological. It also includes Protection Measures (Section 65A) ad Rights Management Information (Section 65B); Moral rights of performers (Section 38B); Exclusive rights of the performers (Section 38A); safe harbour provisions over electronic medium (Section 52 (1) (b) and (c)),

WIPO Copyright Treaty

It came in force in March 2002 and has been adopted by 96 contracting parties till date. It is Special agreement under Berne Convention (for protection of literary and artistic works). It has provisions to extend protection of copyrights contained therein to the digital environment. It also recognises rights specific to digital environment of making work available, to address on-demand and other interactive modes of access.

WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty

It came in force on May 2002 and has been adopted by 96 contracting parties. It deals with rights of two kinds of beneficiaries, particularly in digital environment. In includes (i) Performers (singers, musicians, actors etc.) (ii) Producers of Phonograms (Sound recordings). It empowers right owners in negotiations with new digital platforms and distributors. It also recognizes moral rights of performers for first time and provides exclusive economic rights to them.

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