U.S. Copyright Office
Library of Congress
Annual Report 2002: International Activities

National laws of each country are the primary protection against unauthorized use of a copyrighted work in that country. Most countries offer protection to foreign works under the aegis of international copyright treaties and conventions.

The Copyright Office continued to assist executive branch agencies on international matters, particularly the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), and the Departments of State and Commerce.

Copyright Office staff participated in numerous multilateral, regional, and bilateral negotiations in Fiscal Year 2002. Office staff were part of the U.S. delegation in the May 13–17, 2002, meetings of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, which considered issues relating to a possible treaty on the protection of broadcasting organizations. In cooperation with the PTO, staff prepared a proposed treaty text to present at the next Standing Committee meeting. The Copyright Office also participated in the meetings of the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and Folklore December 10–12, 2001, and June 17–21, 2002.

Staff served as part of the U.S. delegation in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Council on TRIPS (trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights), which convened in November 2001 and March, June, and September 2002. The TRIPS Council is responsible for monitoring the operation of the TRIPS Agreement, and, in particular, how members comply with their obligations under it. The Council reviews the intellectual property laws of member countries for compliance with TRIPS obligations.

The Office continued to participate in the U.S. team that has been considering a draft Convention on Jurisdiction and Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters under the auspices of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

Copyright Office staff were members of the U.S. delegation to the November 2001 and September 2002 meetings of the Intellectual Property Negotiating Group of the Free Trade Area of the Americas and were instrumental in preparations, including the redrafting of U.S. treaty proposals. The goal of the negotiating group is to prepare and finalize an intellectual property chapter for a Free Trade Area of the Americas Agreement. The overall agreement is due to be completed by 2005.

Policy and International Affairs (PIA) staff participated in the drafting and negotiation of the intellectual property provisions of bilateral Free Trade Agreements with Chile and Singapore, including the drafting of proposed ext, and have also taken part in preliminary discussions concerning a possible bilateral agreement with Morocco and multilateral agreements with groups of nations in Central America and southern Africa.

The Office participated in numerous additional bilateral negotiations and consultations during the year, including those held with the Bahamas, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, Georgia, Indonesia, Japan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Macau, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Vietnam on issues ranging from enforcement to copyright law revision. Staff met on a regular basis with foreign officials and visitors interested in learning about the U.S. copyright system and exchanging information about topics of mutual concern. They completed reviews of draft copyright bills for countries such as Armenia, Canada, Egypt, South Africa, and Ukraine. For the USTR, staff provided assistance to nations such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, China, Macedonia, Palau, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, and Vietnam in their WTO accession processes and provided responses regarding U.S. copyright law and policy to the WTO Trade Policy Review queries.

Staff represented the Copyright Office on the interagency Special 301 Committee that evaluates the adequacy and effectiveness of intellectual property protection and enforcement throughout the world. This annual process, established under U.S. trade law, is one of the tools used by the U.S. government to improve global protection for U.S. authors, inventors, and other holders of intellectual property rights.

International Copyright Institute

The Copyright Office carries out an international educational program through its annual International Copyright Institute (ICI) symposium. The ICI is designed to further international understanding and support of strong copyright protection, including the development of effective copyright laws and enforcement overseas. The program is conducted jointly with WIPO’s educational arm.
The Register participated in a number of symposia and conferences outside the United States, including programs in Ghana and Switzerland. Staff also participated in symposia and conferences sponsored by WIPO, the United States Information Agency, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Commerce Department’s Commercial Law Development Program, and provided training on copyright to the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute.

The International Copyright Institute held an International Symposium on the Effect of Technology on Copyright and Related Rights for nineteen copyright experts and government officials from fourteen countries on November 13–16, 2001. Participants discussed international treaties and legislation that relate to the Internet and technology.

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