WIPO Welcomes New Ratifications of "Internet Treaties"
Geneva, November 19, 1999
Press Releases PR/1999/199
The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Dr. Kamil Idris, welcomed the ratification on Friday by Argentina and Slovenia of two WIPO treaties which establish basic standards of protection for copyright and related rights on the Internet and other digital networks, the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT). Dr. Idris also welcomed the ratification by Mexico on Wednesday of the WPPT.
"We are delighted with these new ratifications which bring us closer to the entry into force of these treaties and the application of international standards to ensure the protection of intellectual property rights in cyberspace," said Dr. Idris. "These international treaties will help ensure a stable environment for exploiting the potential of the Internet, a global medium that presents huge opportunities for all countries," he added.
The WCT and WPPT, known as the WIPO "Internet Treaties", contain a general update of the legal principles underpinning international protection of copyright and the rights of performers and phonogram producers in cyberspace, more particularly on the Internet. In addition, they clarify that national law must prevent unauthorized access to and use of creative works which, given the global reach of the Internet, may be downloaded anywhere in the world at the push of a button.
The WIPO "Internet Treaties" were adopted in December 1996. At present, eleven countries (Argentina, Belarus, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Hungary, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Panama, Republic of Moldova, Slovenia and the United States of America) have ratified the WCT and ten countries (Argentina, Belarus, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Hungary, Mexico, Panama, Republic of Moldova, Slovenia and the United States of America) have ratified the WPPT. At least 30 states must adhere to each of the treaties before they enter into force. Entry into force would herald a new era in the protection of copyright and related rights on digital networks.
Dr. Idris underscored the importance of these treaties in light of the explosive growth of the Internet globally. The Director General urged other countries to speed up the ratification process to ensure quick entry into force of the WCT and WPPT. "Entry into force of these treaties", he said "will not only safeguard the interests of copyright and related rights holders, but will also maintain the integrity of the content appearing on the Internet."
Argentinas instruments of ratification were deposited with the Director General on Friday by Mr. Alberto J. Dumont, Minister, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Argentina in Geneva. He was accompanied by Mrs. Hilda Retondo, National Director, National Directorate of Copyright, Buenos Aires and Mrs. Marta Gabrieloni, Counselor, Permanent Mission of Argentina in Geneva.
Slovenias instruments of ratification were deposited by Mr. Bojan Pretnar, Director of the Slovenian Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), Ministry of Science and Technology, Ljubljana.
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