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SHORT BIOGRAPHY - Dr. Mihály J. Ficsor

Dr. Ficsor, from 1966 to 1968, he was judge at the Central District Court of Budapest, and, from 1969 to  1975, he was Section Head at the Codification Department in the Hungarian Ministry of Justice 

From 1975 to 1985 he worked Director General of the Hungarian Copyright Bureau working also as the Hungarian authors’ society (ARTISJUS). During the last four years, he was the Vice Chairman, of the Executive Bureau of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC).  

 In 1981 and 1982, he acted as the Chairman of three different important WIPO-UNESCO meetings: (i) the Working Group which adopted Model Provisions on Exceptions for the Visual and Auditory Handicapped; (ii) the Working Group which adopted Guidelines on Translation and Reproduction Compulsory Licenses for Developing Countries; and (iii) the Committee of Governmental Experts which adopted Model Provisions on the Protection of Expressions of Folklore.  

 Between 1985 and 1999, Dr. Ficsor worked, first, as Director and, then, from 1992 as Deputy Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in charge of copyright and related rights. He was responsible for a great number of important projects. Inter alia, he is recognized as having played decisive role in the preparation, negotiation and adoption of the so-called „Internet treaties:” the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT).

 At the World Trade Organization (WTO), Dr. Ficsor is a member of the roster of intellectual property experts for dispute settlement panels. He has been a member of a panel in one of the most important intellectual property disputes (between the European Union and Canada), and, in another dispute (between the United States and Japan), the parties reached agreement in the consultation phase on the basis his expert opinion.   

 Dr. Ficsor, between 2000 and 2011 was President – and currently is a Member of the Board and Hon. President of the Hungarian Copyright Experts Council (a 200 member advisory and arbitration body appointed by the Minister of Justice and linked to the National IP Office), Honorary Chairman of the Hungarian Copyright Forum Association, member of the Executive Committee of the International Intellectual Property Association (ALAI), and Chairman of the Central and Eastern European Copyright Alliance (CEECA) with permanent observer status at WIPO.

 In 2003 and 2004, Dr. Ficsor was one of the two Co-chairmen of the UNESCO Working Group preparing the draft UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which later was adopted with several amendments in 2005.   

 Dr. Ficsor holds a doctor’s degree in law and political sciences from the Law Faculty of the Eötvös Lóránd University of Budapest. He has written numerous articles and books on various copyright issues, particularly on the impact of new technologies (especially digital technology and the Internet) on copyright and on collective management of copyright and related rights, and participates in a number of seminars, symposiums, workshops as a speaker throughout the world.  His best known books:   

  • “The Law of Copyright and the Internet – The 1996 WIPO Treaties, their Interpretation and Implementation”, Oxford University Press, 2002.
  • “Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights”, WIPO publication, 2003.
  • “Guide to the Copyright and Related Rights Treaties Administered by WIPO and Glossary of Copyright and Related Rights Terms”, WIPO publication, 2004.