Copyright treaties get Cabinet nod

The News

  • The Union Cabinet approved accession to the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performers and Phonograms Treaty which extends coverage of copyright to the Internet and digital environment.


What is World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)?

  • The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations (UN), for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation.
  • WIPO was created in 1967, to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world.
  • It is a self-funding agency, with 191 member states and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland..



  • To lead the development of a balanced and effective international intellectual property (IP) system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all.


About – WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT)

  • WIPO Copyright Treaty or WCT) is an international treaty on copyright law adopted by the member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 1996.
  • It is a special agreement under the Berne Convention which deals with the protection of works and the rights of their authors in the digital environment.
  • In addition to the rights recognized by the Berne Convention, they are granted certain economic rights.
  • The Treaty also deals with two subject matters to be protected by copyright:
  1. computer programs, whatever the mode or form of their expression; and
  2. compilations of data or other material (“databases”).


About- WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT)

  • The Treaty was concluded in 1996 and entered into force in 2002.
  • The WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) deals with the rights of two kinds of beneficiaries, particularly in the digital environment:
  1. performers (actors, singers, musicians, etc.); and
  2. producers of phonograms (persons or legal entities that take the initiative and have the responsibility for the fixation of sounds).



  • To develop and maintain the protection of the rights of performers and producers of phonograms in a manner as effective and uniform as possible.


Note- The WCT and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, are together termed WIPO “internet treaties


Significance of this accession:

  • The approval is a step towards the objective laid in the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy which aims to get value for IPRs through commercialization by providing guidance and support to EPR owners about commercial opportunities of e-commerce through Internet and mobile platforms.
  • Meeting the demand of the copyright industries, these treaties will help India to enable creative right-holders 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.
  • It would enable Indian right holders to get reciprocal protection abroad.

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