March 19, 2019
The Cook Islands deposited on March 19, 2019 its instruments of accession to four key copyright WIPO treaties with WIPO Director Francis Gurry. Mr. Gurry received the instruments of accession from Mrs. Repeta Puna, Director of Governance, Ministry of Cultural Development.
Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances
The Cook Islands becomes the 25th contracting party to the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, which modernizes and updates for the digital era the protection for singers, musicians, dancers and actors in audiovisual performances contained in the Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations (1961). The Beijing Treaty requires 30 contracting parties before it enters into force.
Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled
The South Pacific island nation also joined the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled, becoming the 55th member. The Marrakesh Treaty now covers 83 countries owing to the recent accession of the European Union. It will enter into force for the Cook Islands on June 19, 2019.
The Marrakesh Treaty requires its contracting parties to adopt national law provisions that permit the reproduction, distribution and making available of published works in accessible formats – such as Braille – through limitations and exceptions to the rights of copyright rightholders.
It also provides for the exchange of these accessible format works across borders by organizations that serve the people who are blind, visually impaired, and print disabled. It will harmonize limitations and exceptions so that these organizations can operate across borders.
The Treaty is also designed to provide assurances to authors and publishers that that system will not expose their published works to misuse or distribution to anyone other than the intended beneficiaries.
The Internet Treaties
The Cook Islands also joined WIPO’s so-called “Internet Treaties” – the WIPO Copyright Treaty(WCT), and the WIPO Performances and Phonogram Treaty (WPPT), becoming the 101 member of each. The WCT and the WPPT will enter into force for the Cook Islands on June 19, 2019.
The WIPO Internet Treaties update the multilateral copyright system set forth in older treaties such as the Berne Convention from 1886 and the Rome Convention from 1961 for the digital era.
By joining these treaties, the Cook Islands is taking an important step to support the development of its creative industries and to allow them to distribute their creative outputs worldwide within the copyright framework. The “Internet Treaties” also include important, updated rights such as communication to the public that facilitate global commerce of works in digital form.