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WIPO’s NEW DATA AGREEMENT: EXTENSIVE REACH FOR CMOs REPERTOIRE

July 31, 2020

By Shilpi Sharan and Meril Mathew Joy

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on July 30, 2020 has announced a new agreement for additional cooperation by the WIPO with the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), in line with the WIPO Connect program.[1]

The Vision of New Data Agreement

The New Data Agreement aims to empower the Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) in developing countries with an opportunity to commercialize their repertoire internationally. CMOs, known as Copyright Societies in India, are organizations that manage and administer the copyrighted works of authors/ artists and owners pertaining to various fields, by licensing and assigning the works entrusted to them, as well as collect resulting royalties for the works in view of distributing the same amongst the owners and artists.

WIPO intends to facilitate the current agreement by utilizing the WIPO tool, i.e. WIPO Connect. WIPO Connect is a tool for managing data and repertoire, along with management and ease of licensing, assigning and any other commercial arrangements for the protected works. The current agreement would allow for the connection of the tool with International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC)[2] international information exchange network in order to facilitate international reach for CMOs as well as sharing of their data and repertoire with other CMOs.

Benefits of the Agreement

1. The CMOs or Societies will be able to extend the services provided by them through the use of the WIPO tool, i.e. the WIPO Connect Program.
2. The CMOs or Societies will be able to collect royalties from across borders, enhancing the commercial potential of a work.
3. The CMOs or Societies will have a centrally available platform to interact with other CMOs which will facilitate data sharing as well as ease of business amongst the societies

The present new data agreement is in line with and in furtherance to the agreement between WIPO and SUISA[3] (Collecting Society for Swiss songwriters, composers and music publishers) for the obtaining access to a global system of information on authors, composers and publishers for easy identification.

The agreement is believed to create a more engaging and easy to access global exchange platform for CMOs as well as aid WIPO in facilitating better standards for commercial exploitation and reach for CMOs of developing countries in order to enhance their service providing capabilities.

This vision by the WIPO comes as an opportunity for the Copyright Societies in India which are:

  1. The Indian Performing Right Society Limited (IPRS) for Literary works associated with Musical Works.
  2. Indian Singers Rights Association (ISRA) for Performers (Singers) Rights
  3. Indian Reprographic Rights Organization (IRRO) for Reprographic (photocopying) works.

to become a part of the global repertoire system and help the authors, artists, composers and owners of copyrighted works to seek their fair share of royalties from any worldwide use of their work. With copyright industry growing at a very fast pace in India it is certainly looking forward to exclusive exploitation of work internationally.

[1] Available at https://www.wipo.int/pressroom/en/articles/2020/article_0015.html

[2] CISAC is the world’s leading network of authors’ societies which represents more than 4 million creators from all geographic areas and all artistic repertoires; music, audiovisual, drama, literature and visual arts.[2] CISAC enables the collective management Organisations to represent creators worldwide and help the flow of royalties to the authors for the use of their copyrighted works anywhere in the world (available at cisac.org/Who-We-Are )

[3] SUISA is the Cooperative Society of Music Authors and Publishers in Switzerland and Liechtenstein representing world music repertoire of 2 million authors in Switzerland and Liechtenstein and helps the authors in licensing their work to various customers including concert organizers, radio broadcasters, record companies as well as hotels etc. (available at https://www.suisa.ch/en/suisa.html).

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