Berne Protocol -- Big Changes Afoot -- Info

From: Howard Knopf <knopfh[_at_]>
Date: Mon, 16 Sep 1996 12:08:34 -0700

BERNE PROTOCOL -- BIG CHANGES AFOOT The diplomatic conference for the WIPO Berne Protocol is approaching -- December 2 -20, 1996. This is where things begin to get really serious. The initiative deals with such matters as communication and distribution/importation rights, "protection" defeating devices, rights of performers and record producers, and data bases (goodbye, Feist?)

That which Commissioner Lehman and the Executive Branch cannot get through Congress (i.e. S. 1284 on the GII and H.R. 3531 on data bases), may be achievable in Geneva. Then, Congress will might follow suit.....Meanwhile, other countries just might just believe that the congressional setbacks are only temporary. It's an interesting exercise of smoke and mirrors.

It is very ironic that, more and more, Governments are doing through treaties that which cannot readily be achieved domestically, and then bringing the signed treaty home for domestic enactment post facto.

I've posted (with kind permission) the collected reports of Seth Greenstein from previous WIPO meetings on my own Website:

( as a background to the WIPO initiative.

I've also included my own short piece from a Canadian's perspective. The actual documents for the conference are quite massive. Perhaps the USPTO will post them on their own WIPO page at:

There were rumours that such a posting this might happen. WIPO does not yet have its own Website and has not, apparently and unfortunately, been in any rush to launch one. As far as I know, Seth's material is the best there is available on the Web concerning the Berne Protocol.

This is important stuff. It could render trivial the impact of the WTO TRIPS provisions, proposed amendments in Canada, etc., as if these aren't significant enough.

It's time to pay attention.

Howard Knopf
Perley-Robertson, Panet, Hill & McDougall
Phone: 613-566-2820 or
Fax:   613-238-8775

E-Mail: knopfh[_at_]

Received on Mon Sep 16 1996 - 16:25:16 GMT

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