WIPO Copyright Committee Holds Pragmatic Talks On Broadcasting Treaty; New Text Coming 14/12/2015 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The World Intellectual Property Organization copyright committee closed last week without a definite work programme for the next session but two new projects seem to have stirred up the committee after years of inconclusive talks on a proposed treaty protecting broadcasts, and exceptions to copyright for libraries, archives, education and research. The new subjects relate to exceptions for museums, and resale rights. Meanwhile, a new text on broadcasting is being prepared for next session. The 31st session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) took place from 7-11 December. On the last meeting day, the chair of the committee, Martin Moscoso of Peru, released a summary by the chair, which was swiftly adopted. Protection of Broadcasting; New Text Brewing For the first two and a half days of the session, the time allocated to discussions on a treaty to protect broadcasting from piracy, delegates provided comments on a document which had been tabled by SCCR Chair Moscoso prior to the meeting. The chair’s document [pdf] contained three topics: definitions, object of protection, and rights to be granted. According to sources, the text was an effort at breathing new life into a 12-year discussion, which did not succeed in bringing consensus on the object of protection of the potential treaty. Definitions included the following terms: signal, broadcasting, cablecasting, retransmission, near-simultaneous retransmission, and pre-broadcast. Object of protection provided a description of what the treaty should be protecting, such as protection for broadcasts transmitted by, or on behalf of, a broadcasting organisation, but not for mere retransmissions. Under the rights to be granted, two alternatives were proposed, one for broadcasting organisations to have the right to authorise or prohibit the retransmission of their broadcast, and the other one with only the right to prohibit. Moscoso is expected to provide a revised version of his text for the next session of the SCCR. However, according to the chair, considerable progress has already been achieved in the construction of the revised version, due to the contributions made last week. Member states are expected to provide inputs in the coming weeks to conclude the revision process, he told Intellectual Property Watch. According to the summary by the chair, textual proposals should be submitted by 20 January 2016. Main Changes Expected in Text According to Moscoso, probable changes in the text are expected to be the following: Definitions Signal: The term will be clarified in order to be understood as “programme carrying signal,” after several other options were considered, he said. The same wording should be used in the object of protection section, he added. Broadcasting: the original text contained two alternatives, one defining broadcasting first, then cablecasting, and the second alternative with a definition of broadcasting only. According to Moscoso, the first alternative is a traditional definition of broadcasting, which required an additional definition of cablecasting. The second definition is a technologically neutral definition of broadcasting, which did not require any additional definition. As both definitions have different supporters, they are expected to remain in the text. Broadcasting organisation: this definition also included a definition of cablecasting organisation because it focused on similar elements undertaken by those entities: packaging, assembling and scheduling the transmission, and having the legal and editorial responsibility for the transmission, he said. Packaging was deemed not necessary, however the responsibility for the transmission was noted as very important by delegates, he said. There also was mention of the definition applying irrespective of the technology used, and that also was deemed unnecessary by delegates, he said. Retransmission: the definition was adapted in order to have a broad definition of retransmission, he said, and also a limited definition. Near simultaneous retransmission: The term should be changed to near simultaneous transmission, instead of retransmission. Object of protection The core discussion was about the third paragraph of the section, according to Moscoso, which deals with protection for simultaneous or near simultaneous retransmissions by any means. The Group B developed countries are divided on this issue, according to sources, as the United States limiting it to simultaneous and near simultaneous retransmission effectively leaves out making available, fixation and post-fixation rights sought by Europe. The issue was whether the treaty should protect transmissions over computer networks, and the need to reflect different alternatives. There also was a suggestion to include transmission in making available situations, which refer to on-demand services, bringing access to customers at their selected time and place. The fourth paragraph relates to the protection of cablecasts and the paragraph should remain in the text, although some countries disapprove because of their national regulatory framework. Rights to be granted/protection The alternatives will be affected by the definition of retransmission, according to Moscoso. According to the summary by the chair, discussions on the broadcasting treaty are expected to resume at the next session of the SCCR, from 9-13 May 2016. With Fatigue on Usual Agenda Although SCCR delegates provided numerous comments and textual suggestions to the text prepared by the chair, considered by some industry observers as text-based negotiations, in the corridors, a certain fatigue could be felt among delegations. According to several developed country sources, countries are not so eager to conclude discussions on the broadcasting treaty. For example, the European Union, which was the primary demandeur for a broadcasting treaty, is now not in such a hurry. One of the reasons for this disinterest, according to sources, is the lack of consensus on extending the protection to webcasters. Several developed countries, such as in the European Union and the Group of Central European and Baltic States, have called for a “meaningful treaty,” which is not the case in their view, sources said. Some developing countries, on the other hand, insist that the SCCR and the treaty follow the mandate given by the 2007 WIPO General Assembly, which would provide protection to cablecasting and broadcasting organisations with a signal-based approach in the traditional sense. New Projects Meanwhile, two new proposals, one by [pdf] the Group of Latin American and Caribbean countries (GRULAC) on challenges arising from the use of intellectual property rights in the digital environment, and another one [pdf] from Senegal and Congo on resale right, which refers to royalties that visual artists are entitled to when their works are resold by a third party, such as auction houses. Both proposals suggest that those items be added to the agenda of the next session of the SCCR. They both prompted interest of a number of delegations. According to the summary by the chair, both topics will remain on the agenda of the 32nd session of the SCCR under the agenda item “other matters.” Artists’ federations delivered vibrant statements on the challenges for artists to live from their work, in particular in the digital environment (IP-Watch story to follow). The committee also devoted two days discussing exception and limitations to copyright for libraries, archives, research and educational institutions, and people with other disabilities than visual impairment (IP-Watch story to follow). William New contributed to this story. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."WIPO Copyright Committee Holds Pragmatic Talks On Broadcasting Treaty; New Text Coming" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.