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Safeguardsagainstunauthorizeduseneededtobeconfirmedglobally.ItwasntgoodenoughjusttohavethesafeguardsofindividualunioncontractsweneededinternationalIPprotection.Alsorespectfortherecordedperformancesneededtobeenshrinedinwhatcopyrightlawyerscallmoralrights.Foranactorthatmeanstherighttomakesureourimageisntusedagainstourwillinawaythatdestroysourreputation.AtWIPOs2000conferenceaproposedtreatywith20articleswasslowlyhammeredout.Broadagreementwasreachedon19articlesbutthe20tharticlesetuparoad-blocktofurtherprogress.ItconcernednationaltreatmentacomplicatedissuethatinvolvedthepotentialtransfertotheU.S.ofmoniescollectedinEuropefortheuseofU.S.product.EuropeancountrieswereaheadoftherestoftheworldinthattheyhadalreadygainedAVrightsforperformersandtheirrelationshipwiththegloballydominantU.S.en-tertainmentindustrywascomplex.Theyhadverygoodreasontobecautiousaboutthe20tharticle.Stalemate.Itwas10yearsofstalemateuntiloursisterunionsSAGandAFTRAreachedouttotheproducerstheMPAAMotionPictureAssociationofAmericawhohadnotbeenseeingthingsthroughthesamelensthatwewere.OtherFIAaffiliatesreachedouttotheirdomesticAVproducersaswellperformersunionsactedtodeepentheunderstandingofwhythistreatywasofcriticalimportanceandofmutualbenefittoallparties.AVperformersandproducerssharedIPinterests.Wecouldnotafforddiscordinthisarena.Ticktocktimepasses.IcannotoveremphasizehowimportantitistohaveourNationalExecutiveDirectorStephenWaddellandDirectorofACTRAPRSBradKeenancommittedtothishardwork.ThenumeroustripstothelovelybutsoonexhaustivelyexploredcityofGenevatoparticipateintheglacialprogressofnegotiationsbecameamissionbeyondthecallofduty.Committeesmeetworkinggroupsconveneconversationsdeepeninchbydiplomaticinchweprogressthenstallthenprogressthenstallthenprogress.Somedaystheadrenaline-inducingdramaoffallingintoaditchjeopardizeseverythingthenwerebackontheroadtosuccess.Thankstoaremarkableeffortbyperformersandproducersandmanycommittedgovernmentsthe11-yearimpassewasresolvedbyconsensusattheJune2011StandingCommitteeonCopyrightandRelatedRightsSCCRinGeneva.Whew.Butthatwasjustatcommittee.Thediplomaticdramaplayedon.Nowthetreatymustbeapprovedataninternationaldiplomaticconferenceandeventuallyitmustbesignedandratifiedbycountriesallovertheworld.TherearestillsomanywaysthisfragileunderstandingmightplungeoffacliffinthebackroomsofGenevabutremarkablysomethinghappensthatassuresthewholeworldwillbewatchingasthedramaentersitspenultimatemovement.ThePeoplesRepublicofChinaofferstohosttheconferenceattheChinaWorldTradeCentreinBeijingChinaisnotacountryknownforitsrespectforcopyrightaproblemitisacutelyawareof.Byputtingthemselvesatthecentreofthisconferencetheyaremakingasignificantdiplomaticgesturethatformostgovernmentsintheworldhaspoliticalresonance.Thelocationoftheconferenceelevatestheimportanceofthetreatysratification.IfitfailstheembarrassmenttotheChinesegovernmentwillundoubtedlybebadforbusiness.Thuswhatcouldhavebeenawork-a-daymeetingbecameAnEventcompletewithTVbroadcastsfromtheconferencefloorlivewebfeedsofthespeechesandanationallytelevisedCopyrightCelebrationhostedbyJackieChan.AspartofthefabulousFIAdelegationIwasdeeplyhonouredtobeaskedbyWIPOtospeakontheopeningdayoftheconferenceonbehalfofalltheactorsoftheworld.ItwasasthrillingasitwasintimidatingsoIdidwhatanyactorwoulddoIthoroughlyprepared.AndIworeagoodsuit.Happilythespeechwasverywellreceived.Howevertheconferencewasnotwithoutitsdrama.AtonepointthewholeprocessnearlycapsizedoverthelegalinterpretationofasinglewordbutintheendthetreatywasadoptedonJune262012.Hallelujah.AsmyfriendandpresidentofActorsEquityofAustraliaSimonBurkesaystheDipConfinallybroughttoanendthelongestcoffeebreakinWIPOhistory.WIPODirectorGeneralFrancisGurrysaiditsuccinctlyInternationalagreementisararecommoditythesedays.IamproudtohavebeenpartoftheFIAdelegationthatinsistedwithpatienceandverveandunflaggingcommitmentthattheIPrightsofaudiovisualperformersmustbevaluedandrespected...allovertheworld.Twentyyearsofdeterminedfocusedadvocacyisanextraordinarycommitment.AsFIAPresidentIcommitmyheartandsoultonurturingthecriticallyimportantrelationshipsnecessarytodefendIPrightsforperformersworldwide.Thetreatyisatriumphofinternationalconsensus-buildingandaninspiringexampleofperformersandproducersworkingtogether.FerneDowney