The Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances
As of 2012, performers in audiovisual works have a treaty of their own.
On 26 June 2012, a Diplomatic Conference under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) finalized a new copyright treaty. Negotiators from WIPO member states, including the U.S., signed the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances (Beijing Treaty)
The treaty was named in recognition of the city of Beijing, which hosted the final round of negotiations from 20 to 26 June 2012. This concluded over 12 years of negotiations.
What the Beijing Treaty Covers
The Beijing Treaty protects the rights of performers in audiovisual works such as:
- TV series
The Beijing Treaty provides performers with four kinds economic rights for performances fixed in audiovisual fixations:
- Making available
For live performances, performers have the rights of:
- Communication to the public
The Beijing Treaty also grants performers moral rights. These are the rights to:
- Be identified as the performer
- Object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification prejudical to the performer’s reputation
These new rights must last at least 50 years in member countries. They must be automatic and not subject to formalities such as registration or the use of a copyright symbol or notice.
When Will the New Copyright Treaty Take Effect?
The Beijing Treaty isn’t yet in force. It will only become effective after 30 countries have ratified or acceded to it. You can check for updates to the contracting parties to the treaty here.
The Importance of a New Treaty as Illustrated by the Berne Copyright Treaty
A new copyright (or copyright-related) treaty is a big deal. The Berne Convention is evidence of this. Berne came into force in 1886 and is still in effect. With its revisions, Berne remains the leading copyright treaty, setting minimum international copyright standards in the 177 member states currently adhering to it.
The number of Berne members changes from time to time. You can check for updates on the WIPO website, here.
For in-depth learning about the principles of both domestic and
international copyright law with practical strategies and tools,
see our Copyright Leadership Certificate.