The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Council Decision concerning the approval, on behalf of the European Community, of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Performances and Phonograms and Copyright Treaties. These treaties were agreed and signed during the Diplomatic Conference on Certain Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Questions, held in Geneva, Switzerland, in December 1996. The aim of these treaties is to develop and maintain the protection of the rights of authors (Copyright Treaty), performers and producers of phonograms (Performances and Phonograms Treaty) in an effective and uniform manner. This responds to the impact of the development of information and communication technologies on their work and seeks to maintain a balance between the rights of authors, performers and producers, and the wider public interest, in particular, in regard to education, research and access to information. The WIPO Copyright Treaty covers literary and artistic work, which extends to computer programmes and the compilation of databases. The WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty covers performers, such as actors, singers, musicians or dancers and the producers of phonograms, being the person or legal entity who first records the sounds of a performance. The treaties grant exclusive rights to authors, performers and producers of phonograms, for the authorization of public access to their works, and contain obligations for contracting parties to provide adequate and effective legal remedies for the wrongful distribution, import, broadcast or reproduction of material. Obligations concerning rights management information are also contained within the treaties.