recordings are protected under the World Intellectual Property Organization’s
Performances and Phonograms Treaty. The Convention took place on December 20,
1996 in Geneva. The Convention was necessary due to the technological advances
taking place throughout the world. Older treaties that dealt with literary
works and pictures were no longer suitable treaties for the protection of
refer to the fixation of sound or performance onto a tangible medium. The
Performances and Phonograms Treaty protects performers, those that produce the
work onto a medium, those that transmit the work over a broadcast, and those that
communicate the work to the public by any medium.
of performers and those that produce or distribute phonograms are protected if
they are members of the Performances and Phonograms Treaty regardless of
national origin. All contracting members of the Treaty must recognize nationals
of other countries who are members of the Treaty have the same protections
regarding phonograms and performances.
The Performances and Phonograms Treaty offers
certain rights to performers and creators of original work. Creators of a
performance or phonogram are entitled to the economic benefits of the
copyrighted material. This economic benefit extends beyond the creator’s life
and will continue to be a part of their property, whomever may be in control of
it. They also benefit from the economic result of any live performance
regarding their work.
phonograms played without the creator present are to be clearly labeled
correctly identified as belonging to that creator. Any modification that would
harm the creator or bring down the value of the work must not be identified as
the original creator’s work. The economic rights of a creator will last past
their death until their economic rights have expired. This occurs when a
created work enters public domain.
Performers are the only ones who may benefit from
the reproduction of their fixed phonogram. Under the WIPO Performances and
Phonograms Treaty, this is known as “right of reproduction”. The
performers also control the “right of distribution”. Performers have
the exclusive right when it comes to a decision to make a fixed work available
to the public by means of copying the original product. Nothing in the WIPO
Performances and Phonograms Treaty can control what happens to a copy of an
original work once there is a transfer of ownership regarding one of the copies
of an original work.
Performers also enjoy the exclusive right to rent
out their created work for commercial purposes. It has been agreed upon that
the commercial rental of a performance or phonogram will not impair the
exclusive rights of ownership afforded to the original creator.
Only phonograms and performances are protected
under the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. There shall be no revision
to the Treaty that includes other works such as pictures or literary work. Any
party interested in leaving the Treaty must announce their intent to do so to
the Director General of WIPO. The denunciation from the Treaty will take one
year to be completed.