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    Protection of Broadcasting Organisations, Another Treaty Brewing At WIPO

    Published on 9 April 2013 @ 7:08 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    The protection of broadcasting organisations will be discussed at the World Intellectual Property Organization this week as delegates are expected to work on a text that could become an international treaty.

    An Informal Session and Special Session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) will take place from 10-12 April, and will focus on the protection of broadcasting organization. Country delegates will work from a document approved at the 24th session of the SCCR, when this issue was discussed from 16-25 July 2012.

    The “working document [pdf] for a treaty on the protection of broadcasting organizations” includes 16 articles, and it is expected that only some of those articles will be discussed during the three days of the special session. Most articles contain several alternative and footnotes include proposed language by countries.

    According to the WIPO website, “international rules to protect television broadcasts from piracy have not been updated” since the 1961 Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations, at a time when “cable was in its infancy and the Internet not even invented.”

    With the progress of technology, “signal theft has become a big commercial headache for broadcasting organizations around the world,” it said. According to WIPO, signal piracy can take physical form such as unauthorised recordings of broadcasts on video tapes, DVS, or UBS sticks or it can be unauthorised redistribution of signals over the air or online.

    It was after WIPO members agreed to the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, in 1996, that broadcasters began to press for updated protection, WIPO said. It lists outstanding issues as being the object of protection: the manner in which broadcast signals should be protected, and what further rights should be given to broadcasters.

    In its report on the work of the SCCR, the last annual General Assembly stated that, “The Committee reaffirmed its commitment to continue work on a signal based approach, consistent with the 2007 General Assembly mandate, towards developing an international treaty to update the protection of broadcasting and cablecasting organizations in the traditional sense.”

    “The Committee also agreed to recommend to the WIPO General Assembly that the Committee continue its work toward a text that will enable a decision on whether to convene a diplomatic conference in 2014,” the report said.

    According to WIPO, the working document still reflects multiple views on key issues. Three days is not enough time to go through the whole text so in terms of issues, discussions will likely focus this week on issues identified by the 2007 General Assembly: the objectives of the treaty, its specific scope and the object of protection, a WIPO source told Intellectual Property Watch.

    Core issues that underlie several articles will likely be discussed, such as those reflected in Article 5 on definitions, which includes definitions of signal, broadcast, and broadcasting organisations, as well as definitions of rights like retransmission, fixation, and communication to the public. “It is anticipated that many issues will be related to the terms found in Article 5,” Michele Woods director, Copyright Law Division, Culture and Creative Industries Sector at WIPO, told Intellectual Property Watch.

    Also expected to be discussed are fundamental issues that are reflected in Article 6 (scope of application) which specifically deals with the scope of the instrument, and Article 9 (protection for broadcasting organisations) which establishes rights to be potentially granted.

    All three articles include multiple alternatives at this stage and represent core issues although the discussion might not be limited to those articles, the WIPO source said. For example, the principles reflected in Article 7 on the beneficiaries of the protection might be discussed too, the source said.

    “There is a lot of interest in this meeting, with, for example, a significant number of NGOs who will be attending,” including broadcasters, Woods said. “The overall hope is that delegates can really have some deep thinking and discussions on these core issues that are fundamental to moving forward, she said

    “According to some delegates, a successful meeting would be to have had thorough discussions on at least a few of those key points and to really understand each others’ views” at the end of the week, she added.

    The next SCCR meeting will take place from 29 July-2 August, according to a WIPO source. The committee will then have to report to the General Assemblies, which indicated in 2012 that the committee was to continue work in 2013 to enable a decision by the General Assemblies on the convening of a diplomatic conference in 2014, according to WIPO.

    During the 24th session of the SCCR, India had reservations about the working document, seeing divergence from the 2007 mandate that the instrument should only cover broadcast signals. The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) said at that meeting that it is “a physical impossibility” to fix a signal, as it “no longer exists once a device capable of making the programme perceptible receives it.” The group also cautioned against a treaty that could potentially turn anyone streaming something live on a platform like YouTube into a broadcaster (IPW, WIPO, 24 July 2013).

     

    Catherine Saez may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. Broadcast Treaty Is Baaaaaack: Plan To Create Yet Another Copyright-Like Right For Hollywood says:

      [...] treaty, after years of going nowhere, should be watched quite carefully. Negotiations at WIPO have just gotten underway, and the entertainment industry has a “large presence” at the negotiations, while there [...]

    2. What’s on the Agenda at the 26th Session of the SCCR | WIPO Monitor says:

      […] of broadcasting organizations, this could become a very controversial issue.  On top of this, any major overhauls made to the state of international copyright for broadcasting organizations and ….  Essentially, this is an issue that greatly affects not only broadcasting organizations, but also […]

    3. What Happened at the 25th Session of the SCCR? | WIPO Monitor says:

      […] it was decided by the committee, regardless of the time that has passed, that a discussion on technological issues was needed to speed up the process of deliberating the working treaty/instrument on this matter.  […]


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    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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