The Executive Committee of the Berne Union and the Intergovernmental Committee of the Universal Copyright Convention, at their sessions in November-December 1977, examined the exhaustive study of the implications of the protection of folklore, prepared by the secretariat of Unesco in pursuance of the recommendations made by the Committees at their 1975 sessions (document B/EC/XII/13- IGC (l971)/II/17).
Following this examination, the Committees decided that “studies on this subject should be pursued by the Unesco Secretariat on an interdisciplinary basis within the framework of an overall approach, but that WIPO should be associated in the examination of any copyright aspects involved. Moreover, WIPO should inquire into the extent to which regulations governing industrial property (unfair competition, appelation of origin, etc.) might be used”. The Committees, while recognizing that their competence was limited to matters of copyright, also decided that “in so far as copyright could enter into the solution of the problems, they should continue to consider” the question of the protection of folklore.
The Director-General of UNESCO set up an intersectoral unit within the Organization to study all the problems raised by the protection of folklore. Furthermore, and in pursuance of the decisions taken by their respective governing bodies, it was planned that during 1979, the Secretariat of UNESCO and the International Bureau of WIPO will undertake a joint study of the possible copyright aspects of the protection of folklore.