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USTR Welcomes EU’s Ratification Of World Intellectual Property Organization “Internet Treaties”

Washington, D.C. – The Office of the United States Trade Representative congratulated the European Union (EU) for ratifying the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) (collectively, the “WIPO Internet Treaties”). This marks a significant step forward for international norms of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, particularly with regard to Internet-based delivery of copyrighted works. With the EU’s ratification of the WIPO Internet Treaties, there are now 88 members of the WCT and 86 members of the WPPT worldwide.   

“The EU’s ratification of the WIPO Internet Treaties underscores the broad international commitment to combating piracy on the Internet,” said Ambassador Kirk. “We hope that other U.S. trading partners will also ratify and implement these important treaties.”   

Background   

As reflected in the 2009 Special 301 Report, the United States continues to work with U.S. trading partners to strengthen protection and enforcement of IPR. In 1996, the WIPO concluded two copyright treaties, the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. Following their entry into force in 2002, these treaties have raised the standard of IPR protection around the world, particularly with regard to Internet-based delivery of copyrighted works. The WIPO Internet Treaties have clarified exclusive rights and require signatories to provide effective legal remedies against the circumvention of certain technological measures that protect copyrighted works in on-line environments. A growing number of countries are implementing the WIPO Internet Treaties to create a legal environment conducive to investment and growth in Internet-related businesses and technologies.  

With the EU’s ratification of these treaties, there are 88 contracting parties of the WCT and there are 86 contracting parties of the WPPT. Other countries have implemented key provisions of these treaties in their national laws without formally ratifying these treaties.