Multilateral Treaty Will Address Audiovisual Performances

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is praising a new multilateral treaty that will bolster the international intellectual property protections for audiovisual performances. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances (the Beijing Treaty) aims to strengthen intellectual property protections for actors, musicians, and dancers globally, by establishing uniform standards of protection for performers in audiovisual works.

The Beijing Treaty has been in the works for over a decade, dating back to a 1996 diplomatic conference that adopted the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, which similarly updated standards of protection for recording artists and record producers in the digital marketplace. The treaty marks the first multilateral treaty on substantive IP in fifteen years.

The USPTO said in a fact sheet that the treaty would help American actors by “increasing global protection for performers by ensuring updated and consistent standards of protection for performers in audiovisual works.” It also will give US stakeholders “another mechanism to promote protection of the intellectual property in their films,” it said.

USPTO also noted that the implementation of the treaty “may require some technical amendments of the Copyright Act, in particular where Title 17 refers to existing international copyright obligations.”

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