[Federal Register: April 23, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 78)]


[Page 20482-20483]



Copyright Office

[Docket No. RM 2001-3]


Public Roundtable on Intellectual Property Aspects of a Draft 

Convention on Jurisdiction and Foreign Judgments

AGENCY: Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

ACTION: Notice Announcing Public Forum.


SUMMARY: The United States Copyright Office announces a public 

roundtable discussion on the intellectual property aspects of the 

preliminary draft Convention on Jurisdiction and Foreign Judgments in 

Civil and Commercial Matters being negotiated by the Hague Conference 

on Private International Law that provides special jurisdiction rules 

for, among other things, international torts.

    Date and Time: The roundtable will be held on Tuesday, May 15, 

2001, beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m.

ADDRESSES: Library of Congress, John Adams Building, Room LA-202, 110 

Second Street, SE., Washington, DC. Any member of the public wishing to 

attend and requiring special services, such as sign language 

interpretation or other ancillary aids, should contact the Library of 

Congress at least five (5) working days prior to the hearing by 

telephone or electronic mail at the respective contact points listed 

immediately below.

    Registration is not required to attend the roundtable. Seating will 

be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Requests for 

participation as a member of the roundtable are required and should be 

directed (preferably via e-mail) to Marla Poor, Attorney-Advisor, 

Office of Policy and International Affairs, U.S. Copyright Office, 

Library of Congress, [email protected]; (202)707-2694 telephone, (202)707-

8366 fax. Requests for participation as a member

[[Page 20483]]

of the roundtable should indicate the following information:

     The name of the person desiring to participate;

     The organization or organizations represented by that 

person, if any;

     Contact information (address, telephone, and e-mail);

     Information on the specific focus or interest of the 

participant (or his or her organization) and any questions or issues 

the participant would like to raise.

    This request may be sent by e-mail (preferred), by mail, by fax or 

by hand-delivery. If sent by e-mail: requests to participate in the 

roundtable should be sent to Marla Poor at [email protected]

    If delivered by mail: requests to participate in the roundtable 

should be addressed to Marla Poor, Attorney-Advisor, GC/I&R, PO Box 

70400, Southwest Station, Washington, DC, 20024.

    If sent by fax: requests to participate in the roundtable should be 

addressed to Marla Poor at 202-707-8366.

    If delivered by hand: requests to participate in the roundtable 

should be delivered to Marla Poor, Office of Policy and International 

Affairs, Copyright Office, Library of Congress, LM-403, James Madison 

Memorial Building, 101 Independence Avenue, SE., Washington, DC.

    The deadline for receipt of requests to participate in the 

roundtable is 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 10, 2001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marla Poor, Attorney-Advisor, Office 

of Policy and International Affairs, U.S. Copyright Office, Library of 

Congress (202) 707-2694, [email protected]



    The draft Convention would create jurisdictional rules governing 

international lawsuits and provide for recognition and enforcement of 

judgments by the courts of Member States. Member States would be 

required to recognize and enforce judgments covered by the Convention 

if the jurisdiction in the court rendering the judgment is founded on 

one of the bases of jurisdiction required by the Convention.

    Discussions on the draft Convention began in 1992, and various 

meetings have been held since then. The most recent meetings include an 

informal meeting on intellectual property aspects held in Geneva on 

February 1, 2001; a public roundtable sponsored by the Federal Trade 

Commission on dispute resolution for online business-to-consumer 

contracts held in Washington, DC on February 6, 2001; and a week long 

series of informal meetings (with an emphasis on electronic commerce 

and intellectual property) held in Ottawa the week of February 26, 

2001. The Hague Conference posts various documents from these meetings, 

such as summaries of discussions, notes and reports, on its website 


    The current text of the draft Convention was provisionally adopted 

by the Special Commission on June 18, 1999, and then was revised at a 

meeting held at The Hague from October 25-30, 1999. The current text of 

the draft Convention is available on The Hague Conference website 

(www.hcch.net). The first part of a Diplomatic Conference is planned 

for June 2001, and the second part will be held in 2002.

    On October 17, 2000, the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) 

published a Federal Register Notice requesting comments on the draft 

Convention. PTO received 27 comments. Specifically PTO was interested 

in assessing support for or opposition to the U.S. effort to negotiate 

the draft Convention as it relates to intellectual property. The public 

was asked for their views generally on the draft Convention and to 

comment on 16 questions that were presented in the Notice.

    The purpose of the Copyright Office roundtable will be to bring 

together various parties, such as representatives from the copyright 

industries, representatives of users of copyrighted works, such as the 

American Library Association, consumer organizations and 

representatives from industries engaged in electronic commerce who are 

interested in the draft Convention. The participants should be prepared 

to identify and discuss more fully the issues and problems associated 

with the draft Convention, and to propose solutions that will aid the 

U.S. delegation to the Hague Conference as it participates in upcoming 

meetings to further the treaty negotiations.

    Specific issues under discussion at the roundtable may include (but 

are not limited to):

     Does the draft Convention affect in any way the 

substantive law that applies to an activity of any party with respect 

to intellectual property?

     If a basis for jurisdiction is determined by where the 

injury occurs, in the context of electronic commerce, will this subject 

a seller to jurisdiction in an unforeseen country? Will there be any 

difference if the seller is an individual or a company?

     With respect to copyright liability issues, how will ISP's 

be implicated under the draft Convention?

     What effect could this Convention have on the enforcement 

of intellectual property rights with respect to the Internet?

     Under the draft Convention, will right holders be able to 

sue U.S. residents in foreign countries for intellectual property 

infringement for activities which are lawful in the United States? Will 

libraries, schools, businesses and individual consumers of information 

resources be required to defend themselves in courts far removed from 

their normal residence?

     In what circumstances will a U.S. court have to enforce a 

judgment of a foreign country's court against the U.S. user of 

intellectual property?

     What effect will the proposed Convention have on the 

ability to ensure consistent and predictable interpretation of 

licensing terms through choice of forum provisions in license 


     What will be the practical impact of treaty provisions 

concerning the exercise of jurisdiction premised solely on a 

defendant's presence in the forum?

     How will the draft Convention affect traditional 

contractual freedom for parties to enter into agreements that typically 

designate the choice of jurisdiction and law?

     Will the draft Convention provide a predictable legal 

regime that will facilitate electronic commerce or impede electronic 

commerce? Will the draft Convention disrupt the predictability of 

conducting global business and electronic commerce?

    Dated: April 18, 2001.

Marybeth Peters,

Register of Copyrights, United States Copyright Office.

[FR Doc. 01-10002 Filed 4-20-01; 8:45 am]