The 1967 Stockholm Revision of the Berne Convention Protocol Regarding Developing Countries

The 1967 Stockholm Revision of the Berne Convention Protocol Regarding Developing Countries

This could be referred to as the forgotten access to knowledge treaty.

The text of the 1967 Protocol for Developing Countries in the Stockholm Revision of the Berne Convention is available here (html).

What did the 1967 Protocol do?

As a bid to encourage newly independent developing countries to join the Berne Convention, a Protocol was approved that provided for much greater access to copyrighted works than the earlier 1948 revision of the Berne Convention. Among the changes are the following:

Article 1(a). (Minimum copyright term shortened to 10 years for photographs, 25 years for other works)

  • substitute for the term of fifty years referred to in paragraphs (1), (2) and (3) of Article 7 of this Convention a different term, provided that it shall not be less than twenty-five years; and substitute for the term of twenty-five years referred to in paragraph (4) of the said Article a different term, provided that it shall not be less than ten years;

Article 1(b) (Translations: 10 year rule for translations, compulsory license possible after 3 years)

  • The exclusive right of translation shall cease to exist if the author shall not have availed himself of it, during a term of ten years from the date of the first publication of the original work, by publishing or causing to be published, in one of the countries of the Union, a translation in the language for which protection is to be claimed
  • After the expiration of a period of three years from the date of the first publication of a literary or artistic work, or of any longer period determined by national legislation of the developing country concerned, a translation of such work has not been published in that country into the national or official or regional language or languages of that country by the owner of the right of translation or with his authorization, any national of such country may obtain a non-exclusive license from the competent authority to translate the work and publish the work so translated in any of the national or official or regional languages in which it has not been published

Article 1(c) (Compulsory license after 3 years for educational or cultural purposes)

  • If, after the expiration of a period of three years from the date of the first publication of a literary or artistic work, or of any longer period determined by national legislation of the developing country concerned, such work has not been published in that country in the original form in which it was created, by the owner of the right of reproduction or with his authorization, any national of such country may obtain non-exclusive license from the competent authority to reproduce and publish such work for educational or cultural purposes;

Article 1(d) (limit broadcast rights to “profit-making purposes, provide for compulsory licensing )

  • authors of literary and artistic works shall enjoy the exclusive right of authorizing the broadcasting of their works and the communication to the public of the broadcast of the works if such communication is made for profit-making purposes;
  • the national legislations of the countries of the Union may regulate the conditions under which the right mentioned in the preceding subparagraph shall be exercised. . . . Such conditions shall not in any case prejudice the moral rights of the author, nor the right which belongs to the author to obtain an equitable remuneration which shall be fixed, failing agreement, by the competent authority;

Article 1(e) (Broad exceptions for teaching, study and research in all fields of education, subject to compensation to the author. Cross border import and export of works under similar exceptions permitted.)

  • reserve the right, exclusively for teaching, study and research in all fields of education, to restrict the protection of literary and artistic works, provided due provision shall be made by domestic legislation to assure to the author a compensation which conforms to standards of payment made to national authors;
  • Copies of a work published pursuant to reservations under this paragraph may be imported and sold in another country of the Union for purposes as aforesaid if that country has invoked the said reservations and does not prohibit such importation and sale.

Publishers mounted a campaign against the 1967 Stockholm protocol. In 1971 it was replaced by the Berne Convention Appendix, Special Provisions for Developing Countries.

The 1971 Appendix was complex, burdensome, restrictive, and is rarely used.


Commentary on the 1967 protocol

Timeline of negotiations

Anne Mira Guha, Charles F. Johnson’s Timeline of the Origins of the 1967 Stockholm Protocol for developing countries, October 18, 2010. http://www.keionline.org/node/983

Reports and commentary, before 1980

Committee of Government Experts, General Report of the Swedish/BIRPI Study Group. Pages 83 to 88. 1965

Statement of Abraham Kaminstein on behalf of the United States delegation on the Berne Convention, 1967.

Barbara Ringer, the Stockholm Intellectual Property Conference of 1967, 14 Bull. Copyright Soc’y U.S.A. 417 (1966-1967).

Torwald Hesser, Intellectual Property Conference of Stockholm, 1967: The Official Program for Revising the Substantive Copyright Provisions of the Berne Convention, 14 Bull. Copyright Soc’y U.S.A. 267 (1966-1967)

Ze’ev Sher, Reflections on Copyright in Developing Countries, 16 Bull. Copyright Soc’y U.S.A. 201 (1968-1969).

Barbara A. Ringer, New Horizon for International Copyright, 17 Bull. Copyright Soc’y U.S.A. 81 (1969-1970)

Dorthy Schrader, Analysis of the Protocol regarding Developing Countries, 17 Bull. Copyright Soc’y U.S.A. 160 (1969-1970)

Charles F. Johnson wrote “The Origins of the Stockholm Protocol, 18 Bull. Cr. Soc. U.S. 91 (1970-71), 49.

Irwin A. Olian, Jr. “International Copyright and the Needs of Developing Countries: The Awakening at Stockholmn and Paris,” 7 Cornell Int’l L. J. 81 (1973-1974).

Commentary 1980 and later

Ndéné Ndiaye, the Berne Convention and Developing Countries. 1 Colum.-VLA J.L. & Arts 47 (1986-1987)

Alan Story. ” Burn Berne: Why The Leading International Copyright Convention Must Be Repealed.” Volume 40, Issue 3, Houston Law Review (2003). http://copysouth.org/portal/node/36

Ruth L. Okediji, “The International Relations of Intellectual Property: Narratives of Developing Country Participation in the Global Intellectual Property System.” 7 Sing. J. Int’l & Comp. L. 315 (2003).

Bilal Mirza, A Dilemma Of Intellectual Property Rights For Developing Countries, United Nations University – Maastricht Economic and social Research & Training centre on Innovation and Technology (MERIT), 2006.

Eva Hemmungs Wirtén, “Colonial Copyright, Postcolonial Publics: The Berne Convention and the 1967 Stockholm Diplomatic Conference Revisited,” (2010) 7:3 SCRIPTed 532, http://www.law.ed.ac.uk/ahrc/script-ed/vol7-3/wirten.asp

Alexander Peukert , The Colonial Legacy of the International Copyright System, May 14, 2012. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2057796