AUB and WIPO's Virtual Meeting on the Protection of Broadcasting Organizations
ON THE REVISED DRAFT TEXT TREATY FOR THE PROTECTION OF BROADCASTING ORGANIZATIONS
26 April 2022, Zoom Cloud Meeting
The webinar was held within the framework of the long-lasting cooperationn between the African Union of Broadcasting (AUB) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Ø Objective :
Ø Engage broadcasters on discussions about the WIPO Draft Text Treaty
Ø Underline AUB’s committment to foster discussions with Experts in order to reach a common goal.
Ø Listen to all points of view and bring them together beyond differences, copyright and legislative philosophies as well as legal architectures.
The webinar was attended by :
- Mr Grégoire Ndjaka, Chief executive officer of the African Union of Broadcasting (AUB);
- Mr Abdel-Aziz Dieng, Technical Adviser in Senegal’s Ministry of Communication and Culture/ WIPO Experts;
- Mr Jukka Liedes, WIPO Expert;
- AUB Member organizations;
- Ms Irene Gaouda, AUB ;
- Ms Geidy Lung, WIPO.
In his opening remarks, the AUB CEO invited members to give their points of view since the treaty will be at the center of their daily life. On the same note, he thanked WIPO and AUB members who saved time for the meeting that serves as prelude to the Diplomatic Conference which will certainly lead to the adoption of the Draft treaty.
Mr Abdel Aziz Dieng appreciated the commitment of the AUB regarding the handling of the Draft Treaty. In his presentation, he recalled contextual elements that led to the current revised Draft Text Treaty.
From his standpoint, two treaties were adopted in 1996, notably the WIPO Copyrights Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT). The two Agreements aimed at adapting the rights of authors (WCT) and the rights of performers & producers of phonograms (WPPT) to digital era.
He declared that performers and producers are not the only beneficiaries of neighboring rights. Broadcasters also enjoy these rights in many countries while others do not. But beyond these legislative specificities, there was the question of how to adapt the rights of broadcasting organizations to the digital, and how to address the crucial issue of piracy.
Admittedly, Mr Dieng disclosed that in the past, there were high-level meetings focused on procedural issues. A group conducted by the former president of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), now Director General of WIPO worked on this question by listening to Member States. At the end of these discussions, the group entrusted four experts led by Mr. Jukka Liedes, with the task of formulating proposals to move the file forward.
Despite these efforts, he also regreted the fact the Covid-19 pandemic did not allow for substential in-person discussions.
For the moment, the Draft Treaty does not bind any State, but stands as « A text of the president», Mr Diend underlined.
On another note, Mr Jukka Liedes explained the general aspects of the draft treaty. See Revised DRAFT).
To him, the ambitions of the experts was to draft a clear text, without square brackets, alternatives and options. The whole document and provisions have been equiped by the explanatory notes. The published version of the draft treaty has 18 articles. But in the final version, when the work has once started, there will be some 28 articles. These articles will content the final and administrative provisions that regulate the role of the secretariat. Moreover, there will be provisions on the signature.
At first glance, one can see in the action of the legislator a clear desire to strengthen the tools of protection. At the start of the preamble, the legislator is concerned with developing and maintaining in force the international protection of the rights of broadcasting organizations. «We have therefore moved from the stage of “desire to develop and ensure the protection of rights…” as stipulated by the WPPT to a real commitment to development and consolidation of achievements, Mr Ndjaka said. Mrs Gisele Nnemi Ngah, Senior Journalist with the Cameroon Radio Television found the document pretty rich in terms of content proposal.
Mrs Margaret Ochieng, Senior Legal Office at the Kenya Broadcasting Corportation went further asking more elements of understanding on Article 17.1 which stipulates that Contracting Parties undertake to adopt, in accordance with their legal systems, the measures necessary to ensure the application of the Draft Treaty. «The Text lays down a certain number of prerequisites but does not oblige anyone to submit to these prerequisites. What could happen is that at the state level, we could have previous texts going against what has been proposed, Mrs Nnemi Ngah asked.
If these measures are not adopted beforehand by the contracting parties, she added, can these parties nevertheless ratify the treaty which will still be adopted at the end of the diplomatic conference ?
To dispel doubts on the rights and obligations of contracting parties, expert Jukka urged participants to refer to Article 3 of the draft treaty.
Members also expressed worries on ownership of Programs produced by individuals working with broadcasting organizations as external collaborators.
The rights of products in a program are one thing, the rights of broadcasting organizations in the signal are another thing. Naturally, the contents are protected and the rightsholders can be persons who are not broadcasting organizations, Mr Jukka explained. Participants were encouraged to get in contact with WIPO Experts in case of blocage on the Draft Treaty.
- Pave the way to the Diplomatic Conference on the protection of broadcasting organizations
- Looking foward to the adoption of the Draft Text.
Download Draft Treaty