NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 18 – Parliament has approved the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances which regulates copyright for audiovisual performances and expands performers’ rights making Kenya the 27th World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) member a ratify it.
The National Assembly endorsed the Report of the Communication, Information and Innovation Committee that recommended ratification of the Treaty which was adopted by the WIPO Diplomatic Conference in June 2012 after it was submitted in the House by Attorney General Kihara Kariuki in June.
The House Committee chaired by William Kisang recommended the House approves the ratification Beijing Treaty as it is in Kenya’s national interest.
“The implementation of the treaty will strengthen the economic rights of film actors and other performers and could provide extra income from their work. It will potentially enable performers to share proceeds with producers for revenues generated internationally by audiovisual productions. It also will grant performers moral rights to prevent lack of attribution or distortion of their performances,” Kisang said in the report.
The Beijing Treaty must be ratified or acceded by at least 30 countries of the 184 WIPO members states in order to enter into force and become a binding legal instrument, setting a new international standard for the protection of audiovisual performances.
The Beijing Treaty on Audio-visual Performances will increase protection over audiovisual performances by clarifying rights of performers in the use of their works, putting them on par with other copyrighted works.
Benefit to the Beijing Treaty includes safeguarding of the rights of audiovisual performers from the unauthorized use of their performances in various audiovisual media, inclusive of television, film, video, pay-TV channels, DVDs, internet and the mobile environment.
The resolution states that the Treaty further facilitates the protection of culture, folklore and cultural diversity by contributing to the protection of traditional cultural expressions and national folklore; and also helps strengthen local audio-visual industries by its international system of protection, thereby creating employment.