The conference in Santiago de Compostela
(16-18 June 2002 - see SMN 29) was the fifth in a series of biannual conferences organised on copyright and neighbouring rights and offered the usual constructive forum for exchange and discussion.
There were 250 participants from both the private and public sectors from nearly 40 countries (representing all continents, most candidate countries as well as all EU Member States).
After ten years of EU legislation in the field, the Commission felt it was opportune to carry out a stocktaking exercise on the functioning of all 7 Directives not only in the European, but also the global context. The need for copyright awareness and the interaction of IP protection with competition law were two important issues eloquently and convincingly covered by two speeches (the former by Mr. Yu, Deputy Director General of WIPO, and the latter by Mr. Bo Vesterdorf, President of the European Court of First Instance). The work of the conference started with a Round Table of judges from various EU member states and provided interesting input from those with practical experience of the "acquis".
Key issues discussed were rights management (very topical in the light of the fast-moving technological developments such as the internet) and the principle of territoriality (which is an inherent feature of copyright protection) as opposed to the notion of country of origin which has evolved for some forms of distribution of IP protected material across frontiers. An entire morning was devoted to examination of certain parts of the "acquis" and discussion focussed on potential areas for updating, consolidation or further harmonisation. The last panel looked at IP from an international point of view giving participants the possibility of explaining what they expect from the work being carried out in international organisations such as WIPO and WTO.
The conclusions and texts of speeches and panel rapporteurs can befound at http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/intprop/index.htm
under the ?news? section.
DG Internal Market - E.3
Tel.: + 32 (0) 2 296 90 25
Fax.: + 32 (0) 2 299 30 51