Beijing Audiovisual Performances Treaty
Issue No. 460 - June 26, 2012

The World Intellectual Property Organization's (“WIPO”) diplomatic conference concluded today in Beijing with the historic signing of the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances (“Beijing Treaty”). The United States and more than fifty WIPO member states from throughout the world signed the treaty, which marks the first multilateral agreement on copyright adopted in WIPO since 1996. The landmark Beijing Treaty updates the international legal framework for audiovisual performers to provide rights and protections similar to those already provided for musical performers under the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. “The Beijing Treaty is an important step forward in protecting the performances of television and film actors throughout the world," said Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante.

Included among the Beijing Treaty's provisions are articles requiring national treatment for audiovisual performers in other countries, various exclusive rights for audiovisual performers, and safeguards for technological protection measures. The treaty will come into force after thirty eligible parties have deposited their instruments of ratification or accession with WIPO.

More than 140 delegations worked to finalize the treaty’s language and agreed statements during the seven day diplomatic conference held from June 20-26, 2012 in Beijing, China.

Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante, along with Senior Counsel for Policy and International Affairs Karyn Temple-Claggett, joined the U.S. Delegation to the diplomatic conference, which was led by Justin Hughes a senior advisor to David Kappos, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property. The delegation also included Shira Perlmutter, Administrator for Policy and External Affairs at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; and senior officials from the U.S. Department of State, as well as representatives from the Screen Actors Guild and Motion Picture Association of America. Betty E. King, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Other International Organizations at the U.S. Mission in Geneva, Switzerland also joined the U.S. Delegation. “There was a renewed atmosphere of cooperation and collaboration among all of the delegations in attendance, and WIPO’s Director General Francis Gurry and all of his talented staff should be congratulated,” Pallante said.

WIPO statement -

Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances -