June 26, 2012
BEIJING - The diplomatic conference to finalize a new treaty for audiovisual performers was successfully concluded on June 26, 2012 as negotiators from World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)’s member states signed the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances– so-named in recognition of the city that hosted the final round of negotiations.
The new treaty brings audiovisual performers into the fold of the international copyright framework in a comprehensive way, for the first time.
Welcoming the excellent atmosphere that characterized the talks, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry thanked the Government of China and the Municipality of Beijing for the outstanding organization of the Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of Audiovisual Performances which met from June 20 to 26, 2012. He expressed gratitude particularly to the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) and the Municipality of Beijing for taking the lead in staging the Diplomatic Conference and for their generosity.
The President’s gavel brought an end to over 12 years of negotiations held under WIPO auspices. Gurry hailed this major development in the history of international copyright as a success of the multilateral system. “The conclusion of the Beijing Treaty is an important milestone toward closing the gap in the international rights' system for audiovisual performers and reflects the collaborative nature of the multilateral process,” Gurry said. He noted that “the international copyright framework will no longer discriminate against one set of performers.”
At the opening of the Conference actors from around the world – including American Meryl Streep, Brazilian Sonia Braga, Chinese Mei Baojiu and Spanish actors Javier Bardem and Antonio Banderas – appealed for adoption of the treaty. In a closing message, international actors present at the Diplomatic Conference hailed the successful conclusion of the treaty. Chinese performer Wang Xiaotang, Indian film producer Bobbi Bedi and International Federation of Actors (FIA) President Agnette Haaland addressed delegates at the closing of the Conference.
The Diplomatic Conference was attended by 156 member states, 6 intergovernmental organizations and 45 non-governmental organizations. This is the highest level of participation ever at a WIPO Diplomatic Conference. 122 countries signed the Final Act of the treaty, which is a record that the conference took place.
The Treaty will enter into force once it has been ratified by 30 eligible parties, including countries or certain intergovernmental organizations.