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AIDAA is a world-wide organization of companies collecting audiovisual rights.
We understand the United States Congress and, this week the United
We insist, in the interest of our creative artists, whose work is exhibited in the United States, and in the interest of all artists internationally that appropriate moral rights legislation be included in United States domestic law in strict conformity with the requirements of Article 6 bis of the Berne Convention.
Such concepts as an exclusion from protection of these artists who work for hire are anathema to the purposes and philosophy of Article 6 bis.
Claims that current American domestic law is sufficient to comply with Article 6 bis are demonstrably false, as, for example in the case of the defacement of films in the United States.
Our organization will insist that our governments most vigorously
FÉDÉRATION EUROPÉENNE DES RÉALISATEURS DE L'AUDIOVISUEL
The European Federation of Audiovisual Filmmakers represents 5657
We insist, in the interest of our creative artists, whose work is ex-
FÉDÉRATION EUROPÉENNE DES RÉALISATEURS DE L'AUDIOVISUEL
EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF AUDIOVISUAL FILMMAKERS
LIST OF MEMBERS.
ASSOCIATION OF DANISH FILM DIRECTORS Danemark
YAR FILM ES TV-MUVESZEK SZOVETSEGE - Hongrie
Columbia University in the City of New York New York, N. Y. 10027
SCHOOL OF LAW
435 West 116th Street
March 1, 1988
The Hon. Robert W. Kastenmeier
Liberties and the Administration of Justice
Dear Representative Kastenmeier:
I am Nash Professor of Law at Columbia University School of Law in New York City. I teach copyright and related law, and direct Columbia Law School's Center for Law and the Arts. I am a Board Member of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, the American Symphony Orchestra League and other arts organizations.
In writing this letter, however, I do not represent any organization. I write only for myself to urge U.S. adherence to Berne, having testified on this question earlier before the Senate Subcommitteel. I might add that after living three years in France and with publishing experience in both the United States and the United Kingdom, I have some first-hand experience with Berne country practices as well as with foreign and domestic publishing realities.
I am most grateful to you (whose great role in the 1976 revision entitles you to be regarded as the reigning long-term "Expert in Copyright" in this Congress) for the opportunity to file a statement on your proposed bill · H.R. 1623 · calling for U.S. adherence to Berne, which is surely one of the most important U.S. legislative proposals before Congress at this time in the field of authors' rights.
Let me say at the outset that I am strongly in favor of U.S. adherence to Berne and generally in accord with the views expressed on this and other subjects in the memoranda of the National Committee for the Berne Convention.
See Hearings on U.S. Adherence to the Berne Convention before the Subcomm. on Patents, Copyrights & Trademarks of the Senate Comm. on the Judiciary, 99 th Cong., 2d Sess. 164-195 (1986).
2See National Committee for the Berne Convention, Why the United States Should Join the Berne Convention (July 2, 1987), and Statement to Subcomm. on Courts, Civil Liberties & the Administration of Justice, Comm. on the Judiciary. U.S. House of Representatives, re: Provisions on
The reasons for my strong belief in the advisability of our joining Berne have been fully stated by others the NCBC and its chairman Irwin Karp, Esq., and the former Register of Copyrights, the Honorable Barbara Ringer as well as by myself, and I do not feel it necessary to do more than enumerate some of the main ones briefly:
1) Berne represents an evolving body of the best legal thought in developed, and in many developing, countries as to what authors' rights should, as a minimum, embrace. It is vital that the U.S. have a role and voice in the evolution of this premier copyright treaty, especially in a time of rapid technological change and global development that are forcing us to reexamine the aims and methods of protecting authors' rights domestically and internationally. We have distanced ourselves from UNESCO and thus in some measure from the U.C.C. to which we adhere. Thus it is more crucial than ever that the U.s. as a major exporter and importer of intellectual property be an active participant in shaping or Interpreting Berne, the most influential international copyright agreement. It is time we recognized, as Senator Leahy has said (100th Congress, 1st Session, May 29, 1987, Cong. Rec. 57369) that "vital American interests can be fully represented only if we get off the sidelines and onto the playing field by joining the Berne Convention".
2) Through the UCC's "national treatment" provisions and the uncertain "backdoor" (via simultaneous publication) to Berne we have been receiving the benefits of Berne without shouldering the burdens of membership, negotiation, and decision-making, and in many cases denying Berne benefits to our own and other authors. This is patently unfair.
3) At little or no cost, and with little or no change in our copyright laws that would impair proper interests of U.S. copyright users, we can join Berne and avoid the real possibility of retaliation against us by Berne countries (see Berne Article 6, par. 1) as a result of our taking Berne's benefits but not its burdens.
4) If we adhere, we gain co-Berne status with more than 20 nations (which are not members of the UCC but are or may be consumers of U.S. films and other U.S. copyrighted material).
5) Berne membership would be an aid to collaborative efforts to stem widespread piracy. It seems very dubious that other GATT members who belong to Berne will be eager to collaborate with and give protections to us under that arrangement without our giving them adequate Berne-level
Formalities in Bills to Implement U.S. Adherence to the Berne Convention (Feb. 10, 1988).
3see Hearings on U.S. Adherence to the Berne Convention before the Subcomm. on Patents, Copyrights & Trademarks of the Senate Comm. on the Judiciary, 99th Cong., 1st and 20 Sess. at 50-51, 147-150, 164-167 (1985 and 1986). See, generally, 10 Colum. - VLA J. of Law & the Arts, No. 4 (1986).