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WIPO Copyright Treaty

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Title: WIPO Copyright Treaty  
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WIPO Copyright Treaty

WIPO Copyright Treaty
World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty
Signed 20 December 1996
Location Geneva, Switzerland[1]
Effective 6 March 2002[1]
Condition 30 ratifications[1]
Parties 92[2]
Depositary Director-General of the [1]
Languages English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish[1]
WIPO Copyright Treaty at Wikisource

The World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty (WIPO Copyright Treaty or WCT) is an international copyright deemed necessary due to advances in information technology since the formation of previous copyright treaties before it. It ensures that computer programs are protected as literary works (Article 4), and that the arrangement and selection of material in databases is protected (Article 5). It provides authors of works with control over their rental and distribution in Articles 6 to 8 which they may not have under the Berne Convention alone. It also prohibits circumvention of technological measures for the protection of works (Article 11) and unauthorized modification of rights management information contained in works (Article 12).

There have been a variety of criticisms of this treaty, including that it is too broad (for example in its prohibition of circumvention of technical protection measures, even where such circumvention is used in the pursuit of legal and fair use rights) and that it applies a 'one size fits all' standard to all signatory countries despite widely differing stages of economic development and knowledge industry.


The WIPO Copyright Treaty is implemented in United States law by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). By Decision 2000/278/EC of 16 March 2000, the Council of the European Union approved the treaty on behalf of the European Community. European Union Directives which largely cover the subject matter of the treaty are: Directive 91/250/EC creating copyright protection for software, Directive 96/9/EC on copyright protection for databases and Directive 2001/29/EC prohibiting devices for circumventing "technical protection measures" such as digital rights management.

The WIPO Copyright Treaty made no reference to copyright term extension beyond the existing terms of the Berne Convention, but some critics perceived a degree of association. This was because the United States Congress passed both the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act in the same month. In addition, the European Union adopted its own copyright term extension around the same time.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "Contracting Parties > WIPO Copyright Treaty (Total Contracting Parties : 92)".  
  2. ^ "WIPO Copyright Treaty".  

External links and references

  • Treaty text
  • Parties to the Treaty
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