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Purpose and Function

The Copyright Committee (now called the Intellectual Property & Legal Committee) was founded in 1994 in the wake of the digital era 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 the 2016 Copyright Committee Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, the LD’s motion to rename it to the Intellectual Property & Legal Committee (IPLC) was approved by the members present. The change was necessary to reflect the wider issues around intellectual property in the industry and by not confining itself to copyright only. The Committee also felt that there was a need to discuss the broader legal issues surrounding broadcasters as technologies advance and the fundamentals of the broadcasting industry are constantly challenged. 

The Committee Meeting is open to all ABU Full, Additional Full and Associate members. Members are 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).

The Committee Forum on the other hand is opened to all members and is normally held on the second 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 & Legal Committee forum. 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.  

The Terms of Reference of the Intellectual Property & Legal Committee (IPLC) can be found here.