IFTA Issues Statement on WIPO VIP Treaty

WIPO Diplomatic Conference Concludes with VIP Treaty

Thursday, June 27, 2013

“The Independent Film and Television Alliance extends its gratitude to the WIPO Director General, the Secretariat, all of the distinguished Member State delegations, the Diplomatic Conference Officers and the Committees for their participation and steadfast work to conclude this treaty that facilitates access to published works by visually impaired persons and persons with print disabilities. 

IFTA applauds the negotiators for their willingness to balance the important public interest in facilitating access to published works by the visually impaired community with the various rightsholders’ concerns that such access fits within the existing framework that governs copyright law in the international context. 

IFTA would also like to thank the Diplomatic Conference staff and the representatives of the Kingdom of Morocco for hosting this momentous event.”

The nation-members of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) concluded work on a treaty to create ‘copyright exceptions’ to expand access to published works in formats suitable for the blind and those with visual impairments on Friday, 28 June, following a ten day negotiating conference in Marrakesh, Morocco.

IFTA, as registered non-governmental organization, was represented at the Diplomatic Conference by Eric Cady, IFTA Counsel, and through the International Federation of Producers Associations (FIAPF), of which IFTA is a member.

While the treaty formally concerns on published works, numerous provisions related to steps that can be taken by beneficiaries to enforce their rights to access these works are of relevance to the broader IP community, including measures regulating whether and when technological measures to protect copyrights can be breached (“TPMs”).

The U.S. and E.U. government delegations worked especially hard to avoid damaging precedents while still cooperating as fully as possible to achieve important benefits for the visually impaired community.

The official WIPO press release is available HERE.  For additional information, contact Eric Cady, IFTA Counsel, at ecady@ifta-online.org or 1-310-446-1069.

About The Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA):
The Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) is the global trade association for the independent motion picture and television programming industry. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the organization represents more than 150 member companies from 23 countries, consisting of independent production and distribution companies, sales agents, television companies and financial institutions engaged in film finance.  IFTA is dedicated to protecting and strengthening its Members’ ability to finance, produce, market and distribute independent films and television programs in an ever-changing and challenging global marketplace.

IFTA members produce more than 400 independent films and countless hours of television programming generating more than $4 billion in distribution revenues annually. The organization’s premiere event, the American Film Market, the largest Film Market in the world, takes place every year in November in Santa Monica.  The 2013 AFM will take place from November 6th through the 13th. For more information, please visit: http://www.americanfilmmarket.com/