More than 20 major trade associations representing the software, hardware and IT service industries around the world have called on delegates at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) diplomatic conference to adopt new treaties protecting authors from piracy in the digital environment.
Three new international treaties are under consideration at the conference, which is taking place in Geneva.
The treaties would give copyright protection to authors, producers, performers and database creators.
The conference marks the first major update of the Berne Convention, the primary international treaty on copyright which has been in existence since 1971.
The treaties under consideration would ensure that software, and content on digital networks such as the Internet, remains subject to the control of the author. They would also confirm authors' and other rightholders' control over distribution and permanent and temporary copying of their works, and over technical devices applied to protect against unauthorised copying.
Allen Dixon, European legal counsel for the Business Software Alliance, said: "The healthy development of the digital age and the Internet depend heavily on these protections."
Johannes Kruger, managing director of German software association VSI, commented: "The existence and continued development of the software and information services industry depends on a comprehensive prohibition of unauthorised taking and use of intellectual property. These treaties are an important step in bringing these protections up to date."
The conference is expected to have reached a decision on the treaties by 20 December.
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