Mrs. Geidy Lung: We will endeavor to provide a productive forum for member states’ to update the rights of broadcasters to meet current needs and challenges

As we promised to our readers, we continue to ask representatives of different institutions involved in intellectual property about their opinions and expectations. After Mr. Miranda de Sousa from the OHIM, our guest now is Mrs.Geidy Lung, Senior Legal Officer, Copyright and Related Rights sector in World Intellectual Property Organization. She was very kind to share with us her impressions from the passing year and her hopes for 2008.

How would you estimate the passing 2007 year? Was it successful for the WIPO and particularly for your Department?

It has been a very challenging but successful year for the Copyright and Related Rights Sector.

What were the main challenges that you had to overcome in your work during this year?

To act as a facilitator helping to maintain an ongoing dialogue between all stakeholders, including Governments but also academics, the civil society, and the private sector; and to maintain a balanced output between the interests of those and the broad objectives of development. This is not an easy task, particularly when it comes to digital uses of works.

Which event from the 2007 could you point out as the most significant one? Why?

It was the negotiations for the updating of protection of broadcasting organizations. While a number of key issues still need to be ironed out, Member States have been actively engaged in these discussions and a great deal of work has been done on these questions.

This year was the first year of the Bulgarian membership in the European Union. What is your personal impression from the work of Bulgarian institutions and organizations involved in intellectual property activities?

The Bulgarian Government, particularly the Ministry of Culture, has prioritized the development of the intellectual property infrastructure in the country with many positive results. The promotion and protection of traditional knowledge and folklore and its efforts to harness its rich cultural heritage for the benefit of its people illustrate this point. It is also worthwhile to mention the support given in the completion of a WIPO Study that measures the contribution of the copyright industries to Bulgaria’s economy. Particular attention will be given in the future to promoting activities of societies involved in collective copyright management in Bulgaria and Europe.

Could we expect new activities and services from the WIPO during the forthcoming year?

Since 1996, the WIPO Internet Treaties (the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT)) have increasingly become international standards for protection of copyright and related rights. With the anticipated accession of the EC and its members, the number of parties to each treaty will rise to over 80. However, we still need to continue our efforts to assist with implementation and use of the treaties by all Member States, particularly with respect to technological measures of protection.

We will endeavor to provide a productive forum for Member States’ to update the rights of broadcasters to meet current needs and challenges.

We will work with Member States to ensure that the best possible protection can be granted to audiovisual performers internationally.

As to limitations and exceptions to copyright, we will provide a forum, and the technical information necessary, for in-depth consideration, particularly with respect to certain user groups.

We hope to facilitate international consideration of best practices on digital rights management and, in particular, the use of rights management information mechanisms to assist rightholders to protect and manage their IP, and assist users to respect copyright and best use material in the public domain.

What are your personal expectations for 2008?

That different copyright stakeholders, including civil society organizations, spare no effort to explore and identify areas of common goals and interests to all, and make a firm commitment to support the work to protect and nurture creativity for the individual and collective benefit.