Text - Treaty Document: Senate Consideration of Treaty Document 114-8All Information (Except Treaty Text)

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[Senate Treaty Document 114-8]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

114th Congress    }                                 {      Treaty Doc.
 2d Session       }                                 {         114-8






                       24, 2012 (BEIJING TREATY)


 February 10, 2016.--Treaty was read the first time, and together with 
the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations 
          and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate

                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

59-118                         WASHINGTON : 2016           
                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL


                                The White House, February 10, 2016.
To the Senate of the United States:
    With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the 
Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith the Beijing Treaty 
on Audiovisual Performances, done at Beijing on June 24, 2012 
(Beijing Treaty). I also transmit, for the information of the 
Senate, a report of the Secretary of State with respect to the 
Beijing Treaty that includes a summary of its provisions.
    This copyright treaty, concluded under the auspices of the 
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), advances the 
national interest of the United States in promoting the 
protection and enjoyment of creative works. The Beijing Treaty 
provides a modern international framework for the rights of 
performers in motion pictures, television programs, and other 
audiovisual works, similar to that already in place for 
producers of such works, for authors, and for performers and 
producers of sound recordings, pursuant to other WIPO copyright 
treaties the United States has joined.
    The United States played a leadership role in the 
negotiation of the treaty, and its provisions are broadly 
consistent with the approach and structure of existing U.S. 
law. Narrow changes in U.S. law will be needed for the United 
States to implement certain provisions of the treaty. Proposed 
legislation is being submitted to both houses of the Congress 
in conjunction with this transmittal.
    I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable 
consideration to the Beijing Treaty, and give its advice and 
consent to its ratification, subject to a declaration pursuant 
to Article 11 of the Beijing Treaty as described in the 
accompanying Department of State report.

                                                      Barack Obama.
                          LETTER OF SUBMITTAL


                                       Department of State,
                                      Washington, January 22, 2016.
The President,
The White House.
    The President: I have the honor to submit to you, with a 
view to its transmittal to the Senate for advice and consent to 
ratification, the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, 
done at Beijing June 24, 2012 (Beijing Treaty). The United 
States played a leadership role in the development of the 
Treaty, which was negotiated under the auspices of the World 
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Joining the Beijing 
Treaty will promote the development of appropriate 
international rules in the realm of intellectual property and 
advance the rights of U.S. performers in motion pictures and 
television programs on par with existing global standards for 
musical performers.
    A brief summary of the treaty follows below. A detailed 
overview of the treaty, with an article-by-article summary, is 
    The Beijing Treaty is intended to provide up-to-date 
copyright protection for audiovisual performers in the United 
States and in countries around the world. It provides a modern 
international framework for performers' legal rights--an 
increasingly important assurance in today's world where 
audiovisual works are distributed globally in digital form. It 
also fills a gap in the international copyright system by 
extending to such performers the type of protections previously 
accorded to authors and to performers and producers of sound 
recordings, pursuant to existing international agreements to 
which the United States is a party. The Treaty's framework is 
consistent with existing U.S. standards and its further 
adoption worldwide would advance national economic interests in 
the appropriate development, protection and exploitation of the 
intellectual property generated by America's creative artists 
and industries.
    The provisions of the Beijing Treaty were carefully 
negotiated over a period of more than 15 years. The issues 
initially were considered in connection with the 1996 
diplomatic conference that led to the conclusion of the WIPO 
Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms 
Treaty (WPPT). (The United States ratified those two treaties 
in 1999, following Senate advice and consent and Congressional 
passage of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act the previous 
year.) At the time, however, no international consensus had 
developed as to how similar protection should be afforded to 
audiovisual performers. Countries narrowed the gaps at a 
diplomatic conference in 2000, but deadlocked over the issue of 
how performers could transfer to producers, by contract or 
otherwise, their exclusive rights regarding the uses of their 
performances. In 2010, the United States, with input and 
support from U.S. movie studios as well as artists' 
representatives, worked to develop language that permits, but 
does not require, parties to provide in their domestic law for 
such a transfer of rights, once a performer has consented to 
the fixation of his or her performance. This compromise, 
reflected now in Article 12 of the Treaty, attracted support 
from other key jurisdictions and paved the way for the text to 
be finalized at a diplomatic conference in Beijing June 24, 
2012. The outcome avoids prejudicing what is known in the 
United States as the ``work made for hire'' doctrine, a bedrock 
of U.S. motion picture industry practice.
    Among other elements, the Beijing Treaty includes 
provisions on audiovisual performers' exclusive rights of 
authorizing the broadcasting, communication and fixation of 
their live performances; their exclusive rights of 
reproduction, distribution, rental, making available and 
communication to the public of their fixed performances; 
digital technologies; certain moral rights; and national 
treatment. The rights provided for are modeled on, and similar 
to, the rights provided to performers and producers of sound 
recordings pursuant to the WPPT. (Authors, software developers 
and computer programmers are accorded similar rights pursuant 
to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and 
Artistic Works and the WCT.) These rights are largely already 
enshrined for copyright owners in the United States and many 
other countries: their inclusion in the Beijing Treaty helps 
develop international rules in the copyright area and 
encourages other countries to adopt these rules. The limited 
statutory changes for the United States to implement the Treaty 
are described in the separate proposed legislation the 
Administration is submitting to the Senate and to the House of 
Representatives in conjunction with the transmittal of this 
Treaty. The Beijing Treaty is non-self-executing.
    As described further in the article-by-article summary in 
the overview, one declaration in respect of Article 11 of the 
Treaty, concerning the exclusive right to authorize 
broadcasting and an alternative right to equitable 
remuneration, is recommended for inclusion in the Senate's 
resolution of advice and consent to ratification of the Beijing 
    The Beijing Treaty is a landmark achievement for labor and 
industry working together to protect and promote U.S. 
audiovisual works globally. The Treaty will further encourage 
U.S. businesses and artists to invest time and talent in 
producing and exporting motion pictures and television 
programs, an area where America has a strong competitive edge. 
Once the Treaty is in force, if the United States joins, it 
will help ensure that U.S. performers are appropriately 
protected when their audiovisual performances are enjoyed by 
audiences in other countries that are parties to the Treaty.
    In view of the foregoing, I recommend that the Beijing 
Treaty on Audiovisual Performances be transmitted to the Senate 
as soon as possible for its advice and consent to ratification, 
subject to a declaration pursuant to Article 11, as described 
in the Overview.
            Respectfully submitted.
                                                     John F. Kerry.
    Enclosures: As stated.