Beijing treaty on audiovisual performances ratified


Stephen Yang

On April 24, 2014, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress ratified the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, which was signed in Beijing on June 24, 2012 at the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of Audiovisual Performances.

The Beijing treaty aims to protect the IP rights of performers in audiovisual recordings and, so far, 72 member states have signed it, with China the third country to ratify it. The Beijing treaty is not yet in force but will come into force three months after 30 eligible parties have deposited their instruments of ratification or accession. Experience shows that it usually takes six to ten years for a treaty to enter into force from the date it is signed.

The Beijing treaty is the first such international treaty to be signed in the People’s Republic of China. It defines ‘performers’ as actors, singers, musicians, dancers, and other people who act, sing, deliver, declaim, play in, interpret, or otherwise perform literary or artistic works or expressions of folklore. The inclusion of the latter three is of particular significance to China as it is beneficial for the promotion and export of traditional Chinese culture.

The treaty provides performers with the following exclusive rights over their performances in audiovisual recordings:

Beijing Treaty; audiovisual; WIPO.