In March 2002 Colombia became party to the World Intellectual Property Organization's Copyright Treaty (WCT), which was approved by Law 265 of February 2 2000. The treaty's main objective is the protection of copyright on the Internet.

This treaty protects the author and his or her works, allowing him or her to exploit the advantages offered by the Internet while enjoying due protection. The treaty creates the necessary conditions for a wide and legitimate distribution of creative works on the Internet.

The World Intellectual Property Organization's Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT), to which Colombia is also a party, will come into effect on May 20 2002.

The treaties were created to address the challenges raised by new technologies. Both instruments demand that each country establishes a basic legal framework of rights that allows creators to control and receive due compensation for the utilization of their creations in the cyberspace.

The WCT is designed to protect the author's interests and copyright in cyberspace. In the same way the WPPT aims to protect literary and artistic creations, and expands the category in which books, software, music, art and movies were previously included. Among other things, it updates and complements the provisions of the Berne Convention (1971) on literary and artistic works.

For further information on this topic please contact Alejandro Linares Cantillo or Mauricio Jaramillio Campuzano at G√≥mez Pinzon & Asociados by telephone (+57 1 310 7055) or by fax (+57 1 310 6646) or by email ([email protected] or [email protected]).