This contract is the result of a long process that includes two previously missed opportunities. The first international treaty for the protection of intellectual property rights in all performances was the 1961 Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasters. While innovating, it offered performers limited protection and no moral rights. In addition, one of its provisions expressly denied any economic right to audiovisual fixations. 1961 thus marks the beginning of a long discrimination between the protection of the intellectual property of audio and audiovisual recordings at the international level, which was only abolished by the BTAP in 2012. A WIPO diplomatic conference in 1996 would finally update the protections of the Rome Convention and only promote intellectual property rights for performers. Another diplomatic conference in 2000, which focused specifically on audiovisual performances, reached provisional agreement on 19 substantive articles, but could not conclude a contract because differing views on the sensitive issue of the transfer of performers` rights to producers could not be reconciled. Indeed, the search for an acceptable compromise on this issue was the main reason why it took so long to conclude an audiovisual performance contract. Performers` rights in audiovisual works are indeed treated differently in different legal systems, and while the producers` lobby insisted on a binding presumption of the transmission rule, an overwhelming majority of countries opposed the idea.
It took another 12 years for producers to finally accept a provision which, while denying the presumption of transmission in national law, does not make it the global rule in audiovisual production contracts between performers and producers. The WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) is an international convention of the World Intellectual Property Organization that complements the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Berne Convention) and the International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations (Rome Convention). Unbeknownst to the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT), the WPPT was created to deal with changes in digital technology and communication, in particular the distribution of digitally protected works over the Internet. 2. Contracting Parties may provide in their national law that the sole equitable remuneration of the user shall be required of the performer or producer of a phonogram, or both. Contracting Parties may adopt national legislation which, in the absence of an agreement between the performer and the producer of a phonogram, lays down the conditions under which performers and producers of phonograms share only equitable remuneration. .