COPYRIGHT AND THE INTERNET
The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center and INTERDEPOSIT
have entered into a collaboration arrangement
for the settlement of disputes between creators and users of digital works
The WIPO Copyright Treaty adopted in Geneva on December 20, 1996, by the Diplomatic Conference convened by WIPO ushered international copyright into the digital age. The treaty provides, among other things for the imposition of sanctions on those who remove or alter devices for the identification and management of authors' rights.
In 1994, INTERDEPOSIT proposed its system for the identification of digital works, which it completed in 1996 with a system for the direct management of authors' rights. The system draws on all the ressources of the computer technology and the Internet to introduce a virtual deposit of creations using a "logibox" coupled with a license that
lays down the conditions of use. The user enters into a contract on the information superhighway, thereby implicitly accepting the Interdeposit Charter, which provides for the settlement by international arbitration of any disputes arising out of the contract.
Under the agreement between the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center and INTERDEPOSIT, the WIPO Center will administer any disputes that arise out of such remotely-concluded contracts.
It should be mentionned that, under another arrangement concerning generic top level domains, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center will also be in charge of administering procedures for the settlement of disputes involving Internet domain names in connection with seven new top-level domains that will be created in the course of 1997. Provision has been made for an expedited procedure, which could in certain circumstances be conducted on-line.
INTERDEPOSIT has entrusted one of its founder members, APP Paris (European Association of Authors and Information Technology Professionals), with the task of carrying out Internet surveillance of unlawful uses. Thanks to automated search systems and the involvement of authorized agents, contacts provide proof of copyright infringements and allow traditional legal proceeding to be brought if the infringers refuse WIPO arbitration.
According to Daniel DUTHIL, the President of Interdeposit :
"The solutions introduced provide appropriate responses to the questions raised by the development and overlapping of information and communication technology, and at the same time promote the creation and use of works disseminated in digital form".
WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization, is a specialized agency of the United Nations system with headquarters in Geneva. Its creation dates back to the adpotion in 1883 of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and in 1886 of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. Its Arbitration and Mediation Center is an administrative unit of the International Bureau of WIPO which administers procedures and manages the various services associated with intellectual property mediation and arbitration.
INTERDEPOSIT is a federation established in Geneva on January 10, 1994, to bring together the organizations involved in the deposit of digital works. INTERDEPOSIT has devised an international identification system that affords access to information concerning the ownership of rights and conditions of exploitation. The system is compatible with other standards currently being studied, and permits management in either direct form or through third parties (publisher, literary agents or collecting societies). INTERDEPOSIT is involved at a world level in the fight against the infringement of digital works.
Geneva, April 22, 1997
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