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International Treaty for the Protection of Audiovisual Performances Advances at WIPO Meetings -- SAG and Actors Unions From Across the Globe Lend Support

Today the World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO's) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) adopted a recommendation to the WIPO General Assembly to reconvene a diplomatic conference on the Treaty for the Protection of Audiovisual Performances, which was suspended in 2000 after a deadlock was reached on several crucial issues. In making the recommendation, the SCCR also approved consensus language on the transfer of rights, the primary issue that had previously prevented the conclusion of a treaty.

The consensus proposal was the result of extensive efforts by the a coalition of delegations, including India, Mexico, and the United States, with cooperation from Brazil, the European Union, and Nigeria, among other delegations. Key to this successful result have been the extensive efforts of the delegation from the International Federation of Actors (FIA), led by General Secretary Dominick Luquer and Screen Actors Guild Senior Adviser John McGuire. The delegation also included participants from AFTRA as well as actors unions from Canada, Australia, Denmark, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

SAG DNED & General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, a participant in the FIA delegation, said, "All actors should be proud of the extensive and successful efforts of the FIA delegation to WIPO. While there is far to go before a treaty is concluded, today's action was a crucial step forward toward establishing protection for actors at the international level. We look forward to continuing to pursue full recognition of audiovisual performers' rights everywhere in the world."

The SCCR's recommendation will be considered by the WIPO General Assembly at its regular meeting in September in Geneva, Switzerland.