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January 2, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:36pm

COPYRIGHT IN CYBERSPACE – MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

By CBR Staff Writer

After three weeks holed up in Geneva in intensive negotiations, some 800 specialists from 160 nations, anxious to get home for Christmas or other festive celebrations, reached an eleventh hour agreement to enforce copyright on the Internet. The pacts still need to be ratified by signatory states, and they will then protect digitally-transmitted sound recordings and the rights of their performers in the age of digital everything. Conference Chairman Jukka Liedes said that in simple terms, Madonna, for instance, would now be able to use the Internet to distribute her music, have copyrights for it and for the first time in the digital era, be paid for it. Treaties on literary and artistic works and on the rights of performers and producers of music were cleared for adoption on the Friday before Christmas, but the third, intended to protect the rights of database compilers, and considered dead from the start – was shelved. We’ve now got the rights we needed to address this market, said Nicholas Garnett, head of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, representing the Big Six record companies, which see digital transmission of recordings potentially representing a $2,000m market. We’ll see the Internet changing the rules of the music industry rapidly in the coming years with more and more direct contact between music producers and the public, he said. The big breakthrough towards final agreement came when the conference agreed to delete altogether a hopelessly restrictive article that would have made it illegal for Web surfers to make even transient copies of copyright material

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