SCCR 22: Opening statement of the Asian Group

Asian Group’s Statement
22nd session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights
(15-24 June 2011)

1. I have the honour to take the floor on behalf of the Asian Group.

2. The Asian Group would like to congratulate you on your election as Chair of this Committee along with that of your Vice-Chair. We are confident that under your able leadership, this Committee will be able to move forward on the agenda items. We would also like to appreciate the outgoing chair for his leadership during the earlier SCCR sessions. We wish to thank the Secretariat for preparing all the working documents submitted to this Committee.

3. The Asian Group would like to recall and appreciate the progress made during the last Session of this Committee. The last session came as a breather after the earlier stand still. We hope that the committee will be able to reap on the benefits of the agreements reached during the last Session and take the work forward. The Asian Group is optimistic that work can proceed on the important issues before this Committee, which are in the interest of both developed and developing countries. Regardless of our regions, we share common grounds, including the wide recognition of the development dimensions of this Committee’s work, which could be a basis for moving forward. Therefore, we hope that all sides will try to bear in mind the benefits that can be reaped by working together during this session.

Mr. Chairman,

4. The General Assembly has encouraged this Committee to continue its work on all the three issues before us in the agenda. With regard to the work of the committee on broadcasting organizations, we take note of the document SCCR/22/9 regarding the Results and Outcomes of the 2010 Regional Seminars on the Protection of Broadcasting Organizations.

5. The Asian group welcomes the informal consultation meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Members and observers on the protection of broadcasting organizations which was held in Geneva on April 14 and 15, 2011. We understand that the consultation meeting, involving technical experts, was mandated to clarify outstanding technical and technological issues, relevant for the updated protection of the broadcasting organizations in the traditional sense, by following the signal-based approach as mandated by WIPO General Assemblies in 2007. We look forward to its report and suggestions that are being presented to this Session.

6. The Asian Group would like to reiterate that while it is necessary to update the protection of broadcasting organizations, it should be done without prejudice to public interest, especially access to information already in the public domain. The Asian Group is committed to move forward on this issue within the mandate given by the General Assembly in 2006 to develop a treaty to protect broadcasting and cablecasting organizations in the traditional sense.

7. With regard to the protection of audiovisual performances, the Asian Group urges this Committee to continue its work on the proposed treaty. As we have done earlier, the Asian Group would like to reiterate our readiness to engage constructively on this issue. We also appreciate document SCCR/22/10 and the work carried out during the informal Open-Ended Consultations on the Protection of Audiovisual Performances which were held in Geneva on April 13 and 14, 2011, with the mandate to examine new proposals from Member States and make recommendations to the current session of the Committee. The Asian group notes with interest the new proposals by Brazil, India, Mexico and United States as well as effort by India, Mexico and US to come up with joint proposal, in relation to article 12 and look forward to the result of these countries. The Asian Group looks forward to supporting the ongoing work to narrow the outstanding differences, in order to decide the further course of action.

Mr. Chairman,

8. It is important that norm-setting in WIPO should not be seen as limited to IP rights and protection but should reflect a broader social and development context. If WIPO is to remain the principal international body responsible for IP, its norm-setting activities should reflect a broader context of current IP debates, and if possible, try to address some ramifications of IP which spill out into other sectors, especially those concerning the common good.

9. With a view to bringing in greater balance, the Asian Group considers it important to have a framework for safeguarding the public interest, which is now being dealt with as exceptions and limitations clauses since such a framework does not currently exist. The Asian Group would like to express our appreciation for the work of this Committee on exceptions and limitations. The Asian Group attaches great importance to ensuring a balance between the rights holders and the larger public interest. Exceptions and limitations to copyright are crucial in this regard.

10. In this context, the Group would like to reiterate our readiness to proceed with our work on the basis of treaty proposal put forward by Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay and Mexico, as well as all the other proposals which have been put forward during the previous sessions. We look forward to participating constructively in the discussions with the hope that progress can be achieved on establishing the normative framework on exceptions and limitations in a manner that we can collectively agree upon. We eagerly look forward to a conclusion of negotiations on the limitations and exceptions for the persons with reading and other disabilities and the logical termination in the diplomatic conference for adoption of an international legal instrument on this issue.

11. At the same time, we hope that this Committee follows through on a broader and more meaningful discussion on establishing the normative framework for exceptions and limitations, encompassing other areas of public policies. In this context, the Asian Group supports the future work programme for this Committee agreed during the last Session which is comprehensive in nature with a sequential approach in-built into the programme to facilitate substantive discussions on the various issues including Exceptions and Limitations for the Educational and Research Institutions, Libraries and Archives.

12. These are the broad comments that I had wished to make on behalf of the Group. Individual member states of the Group would like to express their own specific viewpoints in separate statements.

I Thank You.