The fiftieth Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is meeting on Geneva from 1 October 2012 to 9 October 2012. Agenda item 26 is the “Report on the Work of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR)” which according to the provisional agenda, is scheduled for discussion on Thursday, 4 October 2012. The SCCR report to the WIPO General Assembly (GA) provides an update on the status of the SCCR’s work on the protection of broadcasting organizations and exceptions to copyright and related rights during SCCR 23 and SCCR 24.
On broadcasting the report notes that the
updating of the rights of broadcasting organizations in response to technological developments has been under discussion in all SCCR sessions since 1998, including two special sessions exclusively devoted to that subject in 2007
The report notes that the Committee adopted a single text entitled “Working document for a treaty on the protection of broadcasting organizations” (document SCCR/24/10)” which is intended to form the basis of further text-based discussions since the “protection of broadcasting organizations will be maintained on the agenda of the 25th session of the SCCR”.
Finally, the report notes,
9. The Committee reaffirmed its commitment to continue work on a signal based approach, consistent with the 2007 General Assembly mandate, towards developing an international treaty to update the protection of broadcasting and cablecasting organizations in the traditional sense. The Committee also agreed to recommend to the WIPO General Assembly that the Committee continue its work toward a text that will enable a decision on whether to convene a diplomatic conference in 2014.
With respect to WIPO negotiations on a treaty for the blind, visually impaired and persons with reading disabilities, the report recorded:
14. The Committee noted: (a) that substantial progress had been made on the substantive provisions of a draft legal instrument on appropriate exceptions and limitations for persons with visual impairment and/or print disabilities, (b) that further work on substantive provisions still remains to be done, and (c) that the SCCR is committed to resolution of outstanding questions at its next session. In this connection, the Committee agreed on the following recommendations to the WIPO General Assembly:
(a) that an inter-sessional meeting of the SCCR be held in Geneva between the 2012 General Assembly and the 25th session of the SCCR, and that funding be provided, according to the usual formula, for experts from developing countries to participate in the meeting. The exact dates will be determined by the WIPO Secretariat.
(b) that the item of limitations and exceptions for visually impaired persons/persons with print disabilities will continue in the 25th session of the SCCR with a view to conclude or advance substantially the text-based work on limitations and exceptions for visually impaired persons/persons with print disabilities.
(c) that the General Assembly convene an extraordinary session to be held in December 2012 to evaluate the text from SCCR/25 and to make a decision on whether to convene a diplomatic conference in 2013.
Delegates have noted that the Inter-sessional Meeting on Limitations and Exceptions for Visually Impaired Persons/Persons with Print Disabilities will be the key moment where WIPO and its member states determine whether they can show leadership in addressing the needs of the blind, visually impaired and reading disabled persons. The onus will be on the extra-ordinary session of the General Assembly in December 2012 as they will take the fateful decision on whether to convene a diplomatic conference in 2013.
With respect to libraries and archives, the Report notes:
The Committee agreed to recommend to the WIPO General Assembly that the SCCR continue discussion to work towards an appropriate international legal instrument or instruments (whether model law, joint recommendation, treaty and/or other forms), with the target to submit recommendations on limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives to the General Assembly by the 28th session of the SCCR.
With respect to education, research institutions and persons with other disabilities, the Report states:
The Committee agreed to recommend to the WIPO General Assembly that the SCCR continue discussion to work towards an appropriate international legal instrument or instruments (whether model law, joint recommendation, treaty and/or other forms), with the target to submit recommendations on Limitations and Exceptions for Educational, Teaching and Research Institutions and Persons with Other Disabilities to the General Assembly by the 30th session of the SCCR.