Procedures for notifying and sharing information: Berne and Rome conventions

Some provisions of the Berne and Rome conventions that are incorporated into the TRIPS Agreement by reference allow members to use additional flexibilities provided they notify other members.

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Notifications under provisions of the Rome and Berne conventions  

A number of notification provisions of the Berne and the Rome Conventions are incorporated by reference into the TRIPS Agreement but without being explicitly referred to in it. Notifications under these provisions are only required if a member wishes to use any of the possible flexibilities. At its meeting in February 1996, the Council invited each member wishing to make notifications of this kind, to make them to the TRIPS Council even if the member in question had already done so under the Berne or the Rome Convention for the same issue.

These are the provisions:

Berne Convention: browse, more information

  • Article 14bis(2)(c) and 14bis(3) of the Berne Convention deals with right holders of cinematographic works.

  • Article 15(4) of the Berne Convention is mainly directed at the protection of folklore. It deals with unpublished works where the identity of the author is unknown, but where there is every ground to presume that he or she is a national of a given WTO member. In such a situation, the member concerned may designate and notify a competent authority to protect the interests of the author.

  • Appendix to the Berne Convention allows developing countries, under specified circumstances, to provide compulsory licences for the translation and/or reproduction of works for systematic instructional activities. A member wishing to avail itself of these possibilities has to make certain notifications as required under the following provisions of the Appendix: Article I, Article II(3)(b), Article IV(2), Article IV(4)(c)(iv), and Article V.

Rome Convention: browse, more information

  • Article 17 of the Rome Convention concerns the determination of producers of phonograms eligible for protection.

  • Article 18 of the Rome Convention relates to the possibility of reducing or withdrawing, by a further notification, an earlier notification relating to the invocation of certain exceptions.

Further background information on these notification possibilities can be found in document IP/C/W/15 (download Word, pdf). Notifications of this kind are circulated in the IP/N/5/ series of documents.

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