Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

Global Business Dialogue for Electronic Commerce (GBDe)

July 8, 1999

Global Business Dialogue for Electronic Commerce (GBDe)

The GBDe is a world-wide private sector initiative to facilitate development of e-commerce by proposing solutions to remove barriers to it. We, at Fujitsu Limited, are committed to working with business and other leaders on this important initiative. For more details about the GBDe and its activities, please visit

The Intellectual Property Protection Issue Group consists of a chairperson and two regional spokespersons. Currently, the chairperson is Mr. Michio Naruto, Vice Chairman, Fujitsu Limited. Mr. Eric Koenig, Senior Federal Government Affairs Manager and Senior Corporate Attorney, Microsoft Corporation, is the spokesperson for Americas. Ms. Anne Joseph, Legal Director, Reed Elsevier (UK) Limited, is the spokesperson for Europe/Africa.

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased as IPR Issue Group Chair that our group has successfully come to an agreement on the final version of the Conference Brief at the Sherpa Meeting in Paris as a result of an internal meeting among issue manager and two contact point persons held prior to the discussions in the Sherpa Meeting on June 29.

Let me take this opportunity to express my great appreciation for all the contributions you have provided to our paper. We will work from now to make necessary adjustments to comply with the Secretariat's requirements for the Paris Conference in September, including coordination with other issue papers. We will post that version as soon as it is ready.


June 29, 1999

1. Importance of Intellectual Property Protection

The Global Business Dialogue on Electronic Commerce (GBDe) supports strong intellectual property rights protection for works made available over digital networks, while promoting the lawful use of such works by consumers.

For content providers and users both, the value of electronic environment depends in part upon the content that is made available upon international digital networks. Growth in attractive content, stimulated by adequate intellectual property protection, will in turn stimulate the growth of electronic commerce and the infrastructure needed to sustain it.

Inadequate and ineffective protection of intellectual property in the networked environment will not only stifle the full potential of electronic commerce, but will also distort trade in works of authorship in non-networked markets.

2. Need for Intellectual Property Enforcement

Electronic commerce will not develop to its fullest potential until problems with enforcement of copyright laws are resolved.

Accordingly, the GBDe encourages governments to: (a) provide rightholders with effective and convenient means of pursuing copyright enforcement actions in each jurisdiction where infringement occurs; (b) encourage the improvement of judicial proceedings and remedies against copyright infringement in all countries, in order to achieve effective enforcement and deter infringement; and (c) promote a copyright awareness program among public, industrial and educational organizations to educate users on the importance of copyright protection and compliance with copyright laws, which together foster creative activities.

3. Prompt, Faithful Ratification of WIPO Treaties

The GBDe encourages governments to ratify and implement the WIPO Copyright Treaty and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty promptly and faithfully.

These treaties rightly encourage the establishment and maintenance of legal regimes that give copyright and neighbouring right owners the ability to authorize or prohibit the use of their works or phonograms, including their communication through digital media, and effective means through which to enforce such rights.

As part of treaty implementation, appropriate legal frameworks should be enacted for effective technological protection measures.

Legislation should prohibit harmful circumvention related activities by regulating both conduct and devices, while providing appropriate exceptions, such as those set forth in the legislation recently enacted in the U.S., that would maintain the overall balance between rightholders and users.

4. Promotion of Technological Innovation

The GBDe supports further development of technology to protect effectively the interests of all parties involved in electronic commerce, particularly to enable copyright rightholders to attain the fullest enforcement of their rights.

While ensuring full and effective copyright enforcement, governments should avoid taking legislative measures that impede the innovation of technology.

The GBDe believes that effective technologies are most efficiently developed through private sector initiatives and any standards which are developed should reflect a broad based industry consensus.

5. Workable Liability Rules

To the extent necessary to promote legal certainty for service providers, the GBDe encourages adoption of the principles on service-provider liability agreed among rightholders and service providers as reflected in the recently enacted U.S. legislation. These principles recognise the common stake of rightholders and service providers in ridding the electronic marketplace of infringing material.

6. Importance of WTO TRIPs Agreement

The GBDe attaches great importance to the WTO Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPs) and calls on all WTO member countries to implement and enforce this agreement fully and faithfully.

Adequate and effective intellectual property protection and its enforcement are the third pillar of the WTO, along with liberalized trade in goods and services.

Governments should promptly implement all of their TRIPs obligations. Countries seeking accession to WTO should be encouraged to bring their enforcement regimes into compliance with WTO TRIPs standards.

7. Domain Names

The GBDe supports the recent WIPO recommendations to ICANN regarding domain names, and encourages prompt ICANN implementation of these recommendations.

8. Importance of Harmonizing Intellectual Property Protection

The GBDe looks to governments to bring new impetus to harmonizing intellectual property protections world-wide.

Harmonization and implementation should be targeted not only upon the online electronic environment, but also the illegitimate reproduction, distribution and importation of protected materials

In this regard, governments should ratify and fulfil their international obligations under all major intellectual property and related treaties, including the 1971 Paris text of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

Much more work on enforcement needs to be done to control the illegitimate production and distribution of such "optical media" as compact discs (CDs), CD-ROMs, video CDs (VCDs) and Digital Versatile Discs (DVDs).

The GBDe encourages governments to study and, if appropriate, to provide for the optimal level and means of protection for databases world-wide.

(For your information, see the previous draft)

If you have any comment, please e-mail to us.