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Intellectual Property and Legal Committee

The Copyright Committee (now called the Intellectual Property and Legal Committee) was set up in 1994 in the wake of the digital era. Its main objectives were to protect and advance the rights and interests of member broadcasters in the various international negotiations on copyright issues that were conducted in forums like the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

In March 2016, the Committee’s name was changed to the Intellectual Property and Legal Committee (IPLC) to reflect the wider issues around intellectual property in the industry and it was felt that it should not be confined to copyright only. The Committee also saw a need to discuss the broader legal issues surrounding broadcasters as technologies advances and the fundamentals of the broadcasting industry are constantly being challenged. 

The Committee is open to all ABU Full, Additional Full and Associate members and they are normally 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 and other stakeholders, only Full, Additional Full and Associate members are allowed to attend the Committee Meeting which is normally held on the first day of the two-day event. There is no additional 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 forum 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.