Brent Randall is a JD candidate at the University of Ottawa.
The Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) recommended to the General Assembly on July 26, 2011, that a diplomatic conference be held on the protection of audiovisual performances.
According to the recommendation, the conference will be “one or two weeks in June or July 2012” in Geneva. The conference would be a continuation of one that was suspended in 2000, where agreement on 19 of 20 articles was reached, on issues such as moral rights, rights of distribution, and right of broadcasting and communication to the public. There was failure to agree on Article 12, the transfer of rights from the performer to the producer.
As previously seen on IP Osgoode, reports from the Chairs of the WIPO copyright consultation meetings held in April expressed urgency to conclude negotiations and convene a Diplomatic Conference on Article 12. Originally, the problem had been that the transfer of rights was dealt with inconsistently, as in some countries the performer owned the rights while in others, the producer owned them. The new Article 12 intends to strike a balance between the rights of performers and producers.
It appears that the agreement on Article 12 is a step in the direction of finding more consistency in copyright law across various nations, which is frequently an issue, particularly in regards to digital media.