Cabinet nod to India joining world intellectual property treaties

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New Delhi, July 4 (IANS) The Cabinet on Wednesday approved India’s accession to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Copyright Treaty, and WIPO Performers and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) extending copyright coverage to the internet and digital spheres, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Briefing reporters here following a Cabinet meeting, he said both treaties provide the framework for creators and rights owners to use technical tools to protect their works and safeguard information about their use.

“The Cabinet in its meeting today has approved the proposal regarding accession to the WIPO Copyright Treaty and WIPO Performers and Phonograms Treaty,” Prasad said.

“These treaties will help India enable creative right-holders to enjoy the fruit of their labour, through international copyright system that can be used to secure a return on the investment made in producing and distributing creative works.

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“The treaties will also facilitate international protection of domestic rights holder by providing them with the level playing field in other countries as India already extends protection to foreign works through the International Copyright order,” he added.

According to a Commerce Ministry release, the WIPO Copyright Treaty came into force on March 6, 2002, and has been adopted by 96 contracting parties till date. It is a special agreement under Berne Convention for protection of literary and artistic works.

It has provisions to extend the protection of copyrights to the digital environment.

It also recognises the rights specific to the digital environment, of making work available, to address “on-demand” and other interactive modes of access, the statement added.

WPPT came in force on May 20, 2002, and has 96 contracting parties as its members. It deals with rights of two kinds of beneficiaries – performers like actors, singers, musicians and others – and producers of phonograms or sound recordings.

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The treaty empowers right owners in their negotiations with new digital platforms and distributors. It recognises moral rights of performers for the first time and provides exclusive economic rights to them.

Prasad said the approval is a step towards the objective of getting value for national Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) through commercialisation by providing guidance and support to IPR owners about commercial opportunities of e-commerce through the internet and mobile platforms,

The treaties would also spur business growth and contribute to the development of a vibrant creative economy and cultural landscape, he added.

–IANS

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