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TODAY Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances Enters into Force

TODAY, the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances (hereinafter referred to as the Beijing Treaty), the first international IP treaty concluded in China and named after a Chinese city since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, enters into force.

The Beijing Treaty, concluded in Beijing on June 26, 2012, is an international copyright treaty administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a UN Specialized Agency. The Beijing Treaty is aimed at protecting the moral and economic rights of performers in their fixed or unfixed performances. According to its “Entry into Force” Article, the Beijing Treaty shall enter into force three months after 30 member states have ratified or acceded to it. On January 28, 2020, Indonesia became the key 30th party to the Beijing Treaty, allowing the entry into force of this high-profiled international treaty three months later on April 28, 2020, this is, today.

The conclusion and entry into force of the Beijing Treaty will comprehensively strengthen the protection of performers’ rights at an international level. The Beijing Treaty will further support audiovisual performers’ creative vitality by safeguarding their rights to a full extent. It could promote the healthy development of the audiovisual industry by enriching spiritual and cultural products. It could also sustain cultural diversity by protecting traditional culture and folklore. WIPO Director General Mr. Francis Gurry hailed the Beijing Treaty as an important milestone of international IP protection.

As the Beijing Treaty was concluded in China, the Chinese Government has done productive work in facilitating the conclusion and entry into force of the Beijing Treaty. In 2012, the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) and the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality jointly organized WIPO Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of Audiovisual Performances in Beijing, during which the Chinese Government actively coordinated and made contributions to the successful conclusion of the Beijing Treaty, and received great acclaim from the participating parties, including the WIPO, the participating 156 member states, 6 inter-governmental organizations and 45 non-governmental organizations. All of them recognized that the “Beijing Spirit” of “Understanding, Support, Inclusiveness and Collaboration” demonstrated at the conference will continuously promote international IP cooperation and development. On April 24, 2014, the Beijing Treaty was ratified at the eighth session of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC), making China the 5th contracting party. Over the years, China and WIPO have been cooperating closely on publicizing the significance of the Treaty on via diverse channels. Meanwhile, they have built up more consensus on improving the protection of performers’ rights and promoting the development of film, music and other cultural industries globally. Accordingly, an increasing number of countries have ratified or accede to the Beijing Treaty.

The entry into force of the Beijing Treaty is a new starting point from where the performers are universally covered and will make the international IP system even better. China will, as always, cooperate with WIPO in actively promoting more countries to ratify or accede to the Beijing Treaty. Taking the entry into force of the Beijing Treaty as an opportunity, China will continue to improve the copyright protection system, and boost the high-quality development of copyright industry, including audiovisual performance sector.