Last week, the United States Patent and Trademark Office hosted a conference for senior-level copyright lawmakers from China on “Internet Copyright Issues in China and the United States: Implementing the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty.”
The Chinese lawmakers are drafting legislation that will implement two World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Internet treaties in China — the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. In the Joint Committee on Commerce and Trade meetings this summer, China committed to submitting the legislative and regulatory package to join the WIPO treaties by 2006.
On Tuesday, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property Jon Dudas met with the group, noting that China has the second-largest number of Internet users in the world. “Without adequate and effective copyright protection in China for Chinese intellectual property, a Chinese electronic marketplace for copyrighted works cannot develop,” Mr. Dudas said.
The WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, concluded in 1996, are critical parts of the basic legal framework for electronic commerce. The treaties update international copyright standards for the digital realm, clarifying that the traditional rights of copyright apply in cyberspace. The United States implemented these important WIPO Internet treaties through passage of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 1998.