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Article

Preamble
Relation to the Berne Convention.......................................................... 1
Scope of Copyright Protection............................................................... 2
Application of Articles 2 to 6 of the Berne Convention......................... 3
Computer Programs ............................................................................... 4
Compilations of Data (Databases) ......................................................... 5
Right of Distribution.............................................................................. 6
Right of Rental....................................................................................... 7
Right of Communication to the Public................................................... 8
Duration of the Protection of Photographic Works................................ 9
Limitations and Exceptions.................................................................... 10
Obligations concerning Technological Measures .................................. 11
Obligations concerning Rights Management Information ..................... 12
Application in Time ............................................................................... 13
Provisions on Enforcement of Rights..................................................... 14
Assembly ............................................................................................... 15
International Bureau............................................................................... 16
Eligibility for Becoming Party to the Treaty.......................................... 17
Rights and Obligations under the Treaty................................................ 18
Signature of the Treaty........................................................................... 19
Entry into Force of the Treaty................................................................ 20
Effective Date of Becoming Party to the Treaty .................................... 21
No Reservations to the Treaty................................................................ 22
Denunciation of the Treaty .................................................................... 23
Languages of the Treaty......................................................................... 24
Depositary.............................................................................................. 25


Preamble

The Contracting Parties,

Desiring to develop and maintain the protection of the rights of authors in their literary
and artistic works in a manner as effective and uniform as possible,

Recognizing the need to introduce new international rules and clarify the interpretation

of certain existing rules in order to provide adequate solutions to the questions raised by new

economic, social, cultural and technological developments,

Recognizing the profound impact of the development and convergence of information
and communication technologies on the creation and use of literary and artistic works,

Emphasizing the outstanding significance of copyright protection as an incentive for
literary and artistic creation,

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Recognizing the need to maintain a balance between the rights of authors and the larger
public interest, particularly education, research and access to information, as reflected in the
Berne Convention,

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1
Relation to the Berne Convention


(1) This Treaty is a special agreement within the meaning of Article 20 of the Berne
Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, as regards Contracting Parties
that are countries of the Union established by that Convention. This Treaty shall not have any
connection with treaties other than the Berne Convention, nor shall it prejudice any rights and
obligations under any other treaties.
(2) Nothing in this Treaty shall derogate from existing obligations that Contracting
Parties have to each other under the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and
Artistic Works.
(3) Hereinafter, “Berne Convention” shall refer to the Paris Act of July 24, 1971, of the
Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.
(4) Contracting Parties shall comply with Articles 1 to 21 and the Appendix of the
Berne Convention.1
Article 2
Scope of Copyright Protection


Copyright protection extends to expressions and not to ideas, procedures, methods of
operation or mathematical concepts as such.

Article 3
Application of Articles 2 to 6 of the Berne Convention


Contracting Parties shall apply mutatis mutandis the provisions of Articles 2 to 6 of the
Berne Convention in respect of the protection provided for in this Treaty.2

Article 4
Computer Programs


Computer programs are protected as literary works within the meaning of Article 2 of
the Berne Convention. Such protection applies to computer programs, whatever may be the
mode or form of their expression.3

Article 5
Compilations of Data (Databases)


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Compilations of data or other material, in any form, which by reason of the selection or
arrangement of their contents constitute intellectual creations, are protected as such. This
protection does not extend to the data or the material itself and is without prejudice to any
copyright subsisting in the data or material contained in the compilation.4

Article 6
Right of Distribution


(1) Authors of literary and artistic works shall enjoy the exclusive right of authorizing
the making available to the public of the original and copies of their works through sale or
other transfer of ownership.
(2) Nothing in this Treaty shall affect the freedom of Contracting Parties to determine
the conditions, if any, under which the exhaustion of the right in paragraph (1) applies after
the first sale or other transfer of ownership of the original or a copy of the work with the
authorization of the author.5
Article 7
Right of Rental


(1) Authors of
(i) computer programs;
(ii) cinematographic works; and
(iii) works embodied in phonograms, as determined in the national law of Contracting
Parties,
shall enjoy the exclusive right of authorizing commercial rental to the public of the originals
or copies of their works.

(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply
(i) in the case of computer programs, where the program itself is not the essential object
of the rental; and
(ii) in the case of cinematographic works, unless such commercial rental has led to
widespread copying of such works materially impairing the exclusive right of reproduction.
(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1), a Contracting Party that, on April
15, 1994, had and continues to have in force a system of equitable remuneration of authors for
the rental of copies of their works embodied in phonograms may maintain that system
provided that the commercial rental of works embodied in phonograms is not giving rise to
the material impairment of the exclusive right of reproduction of authors.6,7
Article 8
Right of Communication to the Public


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Without prejudice to the provisions of Articles 11(1)(ii), 11bis(1)(i) and (ii),
11ter(1)(ii), 14(1)(ii) and 14bis(1) of the Berne Convention, authors of literary and artistic
works shall enjoy the exclusive right of authorizing any communication to the public of their
works, by wire or wireless means, including the making available to the public of their works
in such a way that members of the public may access these works from a place and at a time
individually chosen by them.8

Article 9
Duration of the Protection of Photographic Works


In respect of photographic works, the Contracting Parties shall not apply the provisions
of Article 7(4) of the Berne Convention.

Article 10
Limitations and Exceptions


(1) Contracting Parties may, in their national legislation, provide for limitations of or
exceptions to the rights granted to authors of literary and artistic works under this Treaty in
certain special cases that do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and do not
unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author.
(2) Contracting Parties shall, when applying the Berne Convention, confine any
limitations of or exceptions to rights provided for therein to certain special cases that do not
conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and do not unreasonably prejudice the
legitimate interests of the author.9
Article 11
Obligations concerning Technological Measures


Contracting Parties shall provide adequate legal protection and effective legal remedies
against the circumvention of effective technological measures that are used by authors in
connection with the exercise of their rights under this Treaty or the Berne Convention and that
restrict acts, in respect of their works, which are not authorized by the authors concerned or
permitted by law.

Article 12
Obligations concerning Rights Management Information


(1) Contracting Parties shall provide adequate and effective legal remedies against any
person knowingly performing any of the following acts knowing, or with respect to civil
remedies having reasonable grounds to know, that it will induce, enable, facilitate or conceal
an infringement of any right covered by this Treaty or the Berne Convention:
(i) to remove or alter any electronic rights management information without authority;
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(ii) to distribute, import for distribution, broadcast or communicate to the public,
without authority, works or copies of works knowing that electronic rights management
information has been removed or altered without authority.
(2) As used in this Article, “rights management information” means information which
identifies the work, the author of the work, the owner of any right in the work, or information
about the terms and conditions of use of the work, and any numbers or codes that represent
such information, when any of these items of information is attached to a copy of a work or
appears in connection with the communication of a work to the public.10
Article 13
Application in Time


Contracting Parties shall apply the provisions of Article 18 of the Berne Convention to
all protection provided for in this Treaty.

Article 14
Provisions on Enforcement of Rights


(1) Contracting Parties undertake to adopt, in accordance with their legal systems, the
measures necessary to ensure the application of this Treaty.
(2) Contracting Parties shall ensure that enforcement procedures are available under
their law so as to permit effective action against any act of infringement of rights covered by
this Treaty, including expeditious remedies to prevent infringements and remedies which
constitute a deterrent to further infringements.
Article 15
Assembly


(1)(a) The Contracting Parties shall have an Assembly.

(b) Each Contracting Party shall be represented by one delegate who may be assisted
by alternate delegates, advisors and experts.
(c) The expenses of each delegation shall be borne by the Contracting Party that has
appointed the delegation. The Assembly may ask the World Intellectual Property
Organization (hereinafter referred to as “WIPO”) to grant financial assistance to facilitate the
participation of delegations of Contracting Parties that are regarded as developing countries in
conformity with the established practice of the General Assembly of the United Nations or
that are countries in transition to a market economy.
(2)(a) The Assembly shall deal with matters concerning the maintenance and
development of this Treaty and the application and operation of this Treaty.

(b) The Assembly shall perform the function allocated to it under Article 17(2) in
respect of the admission of certain intergovernmental organizations to become party to this
Treaty.
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(c) The Assembly shall decide the convocation of any diplomatic conference for the
revision of this Treaty and give the necessary instructions to the Director General of WIPO
for the preparation of such diplomatic conference.
(3)(a) Each Contracting Party that is a State shall have one vote and shall vote only in
its own name.

(b) Any Contracting Party that is an intergovernmental organization may participate in
the vote, in place of its Member States, with a number of votes equal to the number of its
Member States which are party to this Treaty. No such intergovernmental organization shall
participate in the vote if any one of its Member States exercises its right to vote and vice
versa.
(4) The Assembly shall meet in ordinary session once every two years upon
convocation by the Director General of WIPO.
(5) The Assembly shall establish its own rules of procedure, including the convocation
of extraordinary sessions, the requirements of a quorum and, subject to the provisions of this
Treaty, the required majority for various kinds of decisions.
Article 16
International Bureau


The International Bureau of WIPO shall perform the administrative tasks concerning the
Treaty.

Article 17
Eligibility for Becoming Party to the Treaty


(1) Any Member State of WIPO may become party to this Treaty.
(2) The Assembly may decide to admit any intergovernmental organization to become
party to this Treaty which declares that it is competent in respect of, and has its own
legislation binding on all its Member States on, matters covered by this Treaty and that it has
been duly authorized, in accordance with its internal procedures, to become party to this
Treaty.
(3) The European Community, having made the declaration referred to in the preceding
paragraph in the Diplomatic Conference that has adopted this Treaty, may become party to
this Treaty.
Article 18
Rights and Obligations under the Treaty


Subject to any specific provisions to the contrary in this Treaty, each Contracting Party
shall enjoy all of the rights and assume all of the obligations under this Treaty.

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Article 19
Signature of the Treaty


This Treaty shall be open for signature until December 31, 1997, by any Member State
of WIPO and by the European Community.

Article 20
Entry into Force of the Treaty


This Treaty shall enter into force three months after 30 instruments of ratification or
accession by States have been deposited with the Director General of WIPO.

Article 21
Effective Date of Becoming Party to the Treaty


This Treaty shall bind:

(i) the 30 States referred to in Article 20, from the date on which this Treaty has entered
into force;
(ii) each other State, from the expiration of three months from the date on which the
State has deposited its instrument with the Director General of WIPO;
(iii) the European Community, from the expiration of three months after the deposit of
its instrument of ratification or accession if such instrument has been deposited after the entry
into force of this Treaty according to Article 20, or, three months after the entry into force of
this Treaty if such instrument has been deposited before the entry into force of this Treaty;
(iv) any other intergovernmental organization that is admitted to become party to this
Treaty, from the expiration of three months after the deposit of its instrument of accession.
Article 22
No Reservations to the Treaty


No reservation to this Treaty shall be admitted.

Article 23
Denunciation of the Treaty


This Treaty may be denounced by any Contracting Party by notification addressed to
the Director General of WIPO. Any denunciation shall take effect one year from the date on
which the Director General of WIPO received the notification.

Article 24
Languages of the Treaty


(1) This Treaty is signed in a single original in English, Arabic, Chinese, French,
Russian and Spanish languages, the versions in all these languages being equally authentic.
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WIPO

(2) An official text in any language other than those referred to in paragraph (1) shall
be established by the Director General of WIPO on the request of an interested party, after
consultation with all the interested parties. For the purposes of this paragraph, “interested
party” means any Member State of WIPO whose official language, or one of whose official
languages, is involved and the European Community, and any other intergovernmental
organization that may become party to this Treaty, if one of its official languages is involved.
Article 25
Depositary


The Director General of WIPO is the depositary of this Treaty.

*
Entry into force: March 6, 2002.
Source: International Bureau of WIPO.
Note: The agreed statements of the Diplomatic Conference that adopted the Treaty (WIPO Diplomatic
Conference on Certain Copyright and Neighboring Rights Questions) concerning certain provisions of the WCT are
reproduced in endnotes below.

1 Agreed statement concerning Article 1(4): The reproduction right, as set out in Article 9 of the Berne
Convention, and the exceptions permitted thereunder, fully apply in the digital environment, in particular to the use of works
in digital form. It is understood that the storage of a protected work in digital form in an electronic medium constitutes a
reproduction within the meaning of Article 9 of the Berne Convention.

2 Agreed statement concerning Article 3: It is understood that, in applying Article 3 of this Treaty, the expression
“country of the Union” in Articles 2 to 6 of the Berne Convention will be read as if it were a reference to a Contracting Party
to this Treaty, in the application of those Berne Articles in respect of protection provided for in this Treaty. It is also
understood that the expression “country outside the Union” in those Articles in the Berne Convention will, in the same
circumstances, be read as if it were a reference to a country that is not a Contracting Party to this Treaty, and that “this
Convention” in Articles 2(8), 2bis(2), 3, 4 and 5 of the Berne Convention will be read as if it were a reference to the Berne
Convention and this Treaty. Finally, it is understood that a reference in Articles 3 to 6 of the Berne Convention to a “national
of one of the countries of the Union” will, when these Articles are applied to this Treaty, mean, in regard to an
intergovernmental organization that is a Contracting Party to this Treaty, a national of one of the countries that is member of
that organization.

3 Agreed statement concerning Article 4: The scope of protection for computer programs under Article 4 of this
Treaty, read with Article 2, is consistent with Article 2 of the Berne Convention and on a par with the relevant provisions of
the TRIPS Agreement.

4 Agreed statement concerning Article 5: The scope of protection for compilations of data (databases) under
Article 5 of this Treaty, read with Article 2, is consistent with Article 2 of the Berne Convention and on a par with the
relevant provisions of the TRIPS Agreement.

5 Agreed statement concerning Articles 6 and 7: As used in these Articles, the expressions “copies” and “original
and copies,” being subject to the right of distribution and the right of rental under the said Articles, refer exclusively to fixed
copies that can be put into circulation as tangible objects.

6

Agreed statement concerning Articles 6 and 7: As used in these Articles, the expressions “copies” and “original
and copies,” being subject to the right of distribution and the right of rental under the said Articles, refer exclusively to fixed
copies that can be put into circulation as tangible objects.

7

Agreed statement concerning Article 7: It is understood that the obligation under Article 7(1) does not require a
Contracting Party to provide an exclusive right of commercial rental to authors who, under that Contracting Party’s law, are
not granted rights in respect of phonograms. It is understood that this obligation is consistent with Article 14(4) of the TRIPS
Agreement.

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page 8/9


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8

Agreed statement concerning Article 8: It is understood that the mere provision of physical facilities for enabling
or making a communication does not in itself amount to communication within the meaning of this Treaty or the Berne
Convention. It is further understood that nothing in Article 8 precludes a Contracting Party from applying Article 11bis(2).

9

Agreed statement concerning Article 10: It is understood that the provisions of Article 10 permit Contracting
Parties to carry forward and appropriately extend into the digital environment limitations and exceptions in their national
laws which have been considered acceptable under the Berne Convention. Similarly, these provisions should be understood
to permit Contracting Parties to devise new exceptions and limitations that are appropriate in the digital network
environment.

It is also understood that Article 10(2) neither reduces nor extends the scope of applicability of the limitations and
exceptions permitted by the Berne Convention.

10 Agreed statement concerning Article 12: It is understood that the reference to “infringement of any right covered
by this Treaty or the Berne Convention” includes both exclusive rights and rights of remuneration.

It is further understood that Contracting Parties will not rely on this Article to devise or implement rights
management systems that would have the effect of imposing formalities which are not permitted under the Berne Convention
or this Treaty, prohibiting the free movement of goods or impeding the enjoyment of rights under this Treaty.

 

WCT