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Cablegate: Egypt Issues Ipr Copyright Regulations

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 CAIRO 003624

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/ELA, NEA/RA, AND EB/IFD
USAID FOR ANE/MEA MCCLOUD
USTR FOR SAUMS
TREASURY FOR MILLS/NUGENT/PETERS
COMMERCE FOR 4520/ITA/ANESA/MTALAAT

SENSITVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KIPR ECON ETRD EINV EAID EG
SUBJECT: EGYPT ISSUES IPR COPYRIGHT REGULATIONS

This cable is Sensitive But Unclassified. Please handle
accordingly. Not for internet distribution.

1. (SBU) Summary. On March 29, 2005, the Prime Minister
issued decree 497/2005 which promulgated the final chapter
of executive regulations of the Intellectual Property Rights
(IPR) Law 82 of 2002. Analysis of this chapter, which cover
copyrights and neighboring rights, indicates potential
deficiencies in the regulations and some inconsistencies
with Egypt's international IPR commitments, including the
agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property
Rights (TRIPS). Some of these problems were anticipated by
IPR experts, who had offered, to no avail, to help the GOE
with the drafting of the regulations. Post will report on
any additional shortcomings in the regulations that come to
light, and will follow up with IPR experts for their
reaction to the new regulations. End summary.

2. (U) Chapter 3 on copyrights and neighboring rights was
the last chapter of the four-chapter implementing
regulations of the 2002 IPR law to be issued. The absence
of executive regulations on copyrights was singled out in
the 2004 Special 301 report as one of the reasons for weak
copyright enforcement in Egypt -- a deficiency cited as
justification for elevating Egypt to the Priority Watch List
that year.

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3. (SBU) While the implementation of the copyright
regulations is welcome, a review of the chapter by the IPR
consultants at the USAID-funded Intellectual Property Rights
Assistance (IPRA) Project indicates that the regulations
fail to address the following important issues:

False licensing: The regulations do not address false
licensing -- the granting of a license by someone with no
authority to do so. GOE enforcement authorities cite their
inability to verify the authenticity of licenses as a major
reason for failing to provide effective copyright
enforcement.

Border protection: There is confusion within the GOE over
which agencies are responsible for preventing pirated
material from entering the country, a TRIPS obligation. The
issue is not addressed by either the 2002 IPR law or the
Chapter 3 regulations. This deficiency is of great concern,
as most pirated goods in Egypt are imported, not produced
locally.

Non-voluntary licenses: A concern with IPR Law 82 of 2002
was that it created a provision for non-voluntary licenses
that went beyond what was permitted under the Berne
Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
(Berne Convention) and TRIPS. The copyright regulations
failed to remedy this problem and, in fact, appear to have
created an even more expansive set of non-voluntary
licenses, especially for educational purposes, without the
protections and limitations required under the Berne
Convention.

Computer software: Chapter 3 regulations regarding the
adaptation of computer software are unclear and could allow
persons other than the software designer to adapt the
software without permission, in violation of the Berne
Convention and TRIPS.

Licensing of works in the public domain: The regulations
require payment for licenses for the commercial or
professional use of works, sound recordings, performance or
broadcast programs that are already in the public domain.
Requiring payment for such works violates the principle of
public domain and deprives the public of the intended
benefits.

4. (SBU) Comment: Analysis of the copyright regulations by
IPRA experts indicates that a number of deficiencies that
will have to be corrected if Egypt is to meet its
international IPR obligations. These problems are not
wholly unexpected. The IPRA project had identified many of
these concerns after the IPR law went into effect and had
offered to assist the Ministry of Culture with the drafting
of the executive regulations. Unfortunately, the offer was
refused. Post will report on any additional shortcomings in
the regulations that come to light, and will follow up with
representatives in the field of intellectual property for
their reaction to the new regulations. End comment.

GRAY

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