Hesitant Steps For Broadcasting Treaty At WIPO; Study On Copyright Exceptions Praised 13/05/2016 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 4 Comments 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 protection of broadcasting organisation against signal piracy has been discussed at the World Intellectual Property Organization for two decades. However technological advances might have made the draft treaty as it stands obsolete some say, while others maintain that the treaty should stick to its original intent, leading to difficult discussions on core principles. On another subject of the WIPO committee on copyright meeting this week, a draft study was presented mapping the copyright limitations and exceptions provisions for educational activities in most WIPO member states. The WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) is meeting from 9-13 May. One of the main subjects of the committee is a potential treaty meant to protect intellectual property in broadcasts. Discussions on the subject date back to 20 years, and progress has been incremental in recent years as delegates find it hard to agree on core issues, such as what should be protected, which kind of signal, who should benefit from the protection, for how long. Meanwhile, in 20 years, technological advances have introduced new means of transmission, and in particular internet, into the equation that delegates are trying to solve. The 2007 mandate given by the WIPO General Assembly talks about updating the protection of broadcasting and cablecasting in the traditional sense. In the corridors of WIPO this week, a strong desire for the treaty was not obvious. Some delegations claimed that their own broadcasters are not too keen on a treaty, some others said that their broadcasters would only want a treaty that actually addresses their current needs, which would cover for example on-demand video services. One of the issues is the request by some countries to have a flexibility introduced in the treaty so that they are provided with the possibility of excluding cablecasting services from the protection granted by the treaty. Those countries have different legislations for broadcasting, which operates under public law, and cablecasting, which relates to private actors. At the beginning of the week, the SCCR Chair Martin Moscoso, a consultant in intellectual property from Peru, issued proposed language [pdf] to try to address this particular issue, but no consensus was found. In the absence of active discussions in the plenary room, on 10 May, Moscoso proposed to hold closed informal meetings to encourage interaction between member states on core issues laid out in a Revised Consolidated Text [pdf] on Definitions, Object of Protection, and Rights to be Granted, prepared by him prior to the session. The informal discussions were held with regional coordinators and some of their member countries, while they were retransmitted for other delegates and observers, with an obligation of non-divulgation. The retransmission was not available to the press. On 11 May, Moscoso gave a summary of the informal discussions, and said several definitions were discussed. Most of those definitions, such as programmes, broadcasting, and retransmission need further discussion, he said. The object of protection was also discussed and he said that “some sort of consensus” was achieved on the inclusion of pre-broadcast signal in the protection. Sources confirmed this likelihood. A pre-broadcast signal, according to the Revised Consolidated Text, means a programme-carrying signal transmitted to a broadcasting organisation for the purpose of subsequent transmission to the public. After the discussions took place, Intellectual Property Watch asked several delegations about the future steps for the so-called broadcasting treaty, but none could answer. Draft Study On Copyright Limitations for Education Professor Daniel Seng One of the other main subjects of the SCCR is the question whether international rules instituting copyright limitations and exceptions should be established. One of the intended exceptions concerns educational and research institutions. On 11 May, Prof. Daniel Seng of the National University of Singapore presented a draft Study on Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for Educational Activities. This preliminary version analysed 136 out of the 188 WIPO member states. In 2009, Seng authored a study on exceptions and limitations in educational activities in Australia and Asia for WIPO. “The concept of education is a very broad one with have strong public interest connotations,” he said, and the right to education is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. According to the study, it focuses on eight categories of limitations and exceptions that pertain to educational activities: private or personal use; quotations; the use of reproductions for educational purposes; educational publications; school performances; educational communications; compulsory licences for reproduction and translation of works for educational purposes; and exceptions to the implementation of technological protection measures and rights management information. All member states have at least one limitation and exception dealing with educational activities, he said, but most countries have several provisions. For example,132 member states have quotation exceptions, 111 member states have provisions for reproduction limitation and exceptions, 83 have exceptions and limitations on educational publication, and 80 on educational performances, Seng found. However, he said, only 29 member states have provisions that pertain to compulsory licences for reproduction and translation, and/or limitations for purposes of the reproduction or translation of works. Some 23 countries have exceptions for circumvention of digital rights management when it relates to educational activities. he said. The draft study offers some preliminary conclusions on the work done so far. In particular, the author noted that “what this study has demonstrated is that the 136 member states whose legislation have been reviewed have demonstrated a good understanding and application of the permissible limitations and exceptions for educational activities in international treaties to their national legislation.” “The provisions for compulsory licenses remain relevant to a not insignificant number of WIPO member states, and their detailed implementation in national legislation highlights the benefits of a detailed set of rules for their adoption,” he wrote. “In comparison, however, the education-related exceptions for TPM [technological protection measures] and RMI [rights management information] are much less widely accepted and uniform in implementation. This could perhaps be something that WIPO member states may wish to consider, in the absence of guidance at the international level,” the draft study states. The study was praised by member states who took the floor. 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."Hesitant Steps For Broadcasting Treaty At WIPO; Study On Copyright Exceptions Praised" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.