The Copyright Committee (now called the Intellectual Property and Legal Committee) was initially founded in 1994 to protect and advance the rights and interests of broadcasters in the various international negotiations on copyright issues that are conducted in forums like the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
In 2016, the Committee’s name was amended to the Intellectual Property and Legal Committee (IPLC) to reflect the wider issues around intellectual property not confined to copyright only. The Committee also felt that there was a need to discuss the broader legal issues surrounding broadcasters as technologies keep advancing and the fundamentals of the broadcasting industry are constantly challenged.
The Committee is open to all ABU members irrespective of the categories and they can be represented by officials working in their Legal or Intellectual Property/Copyright Departments. The Committee works in close collaboration with regional broadcasting unions and international broadcasting associations around the world in lobbying for the adoption of a Broadcaster’s Treaty under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Although the Committee Forum is opened to all members, only Full and Additional Full members can attend the Committee Meeting which is normally held on the first day of the two day event. There is no fee to be a member of the Committee Meeting.
Seminars on intellectual property rights and regulatory issues are held in conjunction with the annual Intellectual Property and Legal Committee meeting. Other legal issues related to broadcasting are also deliberated by eminent speakers and industry practitioners, with the objective of enlightening members, and participants.
The Committee is hosted by ABU members on a rotation basis in different countries annually.