Brazil Seeks Knowledge Access, Diversity In WIPO Broadcasting Treaty 18/11/2005 by William New, 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)Brazil on 17 November proposed that the World Intellectual Property Organisation tie its draft treaty on broadcasters’ rights to a recently agreed treaty on cultural diversity that was seen as strengthening nations’ ability to control information flows across their borders. Meanwhile, a coalition of non-governmental organisations is preparing a statement recommending clarifications and limits on the scope of the broadcasting treaty. The cultural diversity treaty adopted overwhelmingly in October by the members of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) was strongly opposed by the United States but hailed by many other countries as a needed tool to protect their cultures from global influences. Brazil calls for a provision ensuring the broadcasting treaty is in line with the UNESCO treaty, which in turn has provisions ensuring it is consistent with other international treaties. “Given the role broadcasting organisations can play in the dissemination of cultural content and expressions, it is crucially important to ensure a relationship of mutual supportiveness” between the treaties, Brazil said. In its submission to WIPO in advance of the 21 to 23 November meeting of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyrights and Related Rights, Brazil also proposed a new clause on access to knowledge. It proposed a provision stating that “nothing in this treaty shall limit the freedom of a contracting party to promote access to knowledge and information and national educational and scientific objectives, to curb anti-competitive practices or to take any action it deems necessary to promote the public interest in sectors of vital importance to its socio-economic, scientific and technological development.” In addition, Brazil proposed that in the proposed treaty, the “social role” of broadcasting be preserved, in line with proposals to establish a “development agenda” at WIPO aimed at mainstreaming a development dimension into its activities. Brazil proposed redrafting of Article 14 of the current consolidated text to be discussed by the committee to specifically mention exceptions for the “public good.” Article 14 deals with limitations and exceptions to the treaty. On other issues, Brazil repeated a call to delete Article 16 of the draft text, which contains obligations concerning technological measures, generally intended to prevent illegal content sharing. Such measures could undermine countries’ rights to exercise the limitations and exceptions, could reduce access to material already in the public domain, and are “questionable” in relation to the broadcast signal theft the treaty is intended to block, Brazil said. Finally, Brazil asked that to be eligible for the broadcasting treaty, a country must be a member of the pre-existing Rome Convention on the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations. The United States is not a member. Sign-Up List Calls For Clarification Meanwhile, non-governmental organisations are organising a set of recommendations on clarifying and limiting the broadcasting treaty, to be sent to the copyright committee. The statement, posted at http://homepage.mac.com/nashtonhart/FileSharing1.html, and circulated by the Consumer Project on Technology among others, urges clarification that the programme-carrying signal would be protected, not the programme itself. They also are calling for a definition of the term “signal,” and the removal of the use of “fixations” in the text as this term is internationally associated with the programme content rather than the signal, they said. CPTech said in a subscriber email that the treaty would “create a new intellectual property right” by giving broadcasters, cablecasters and webcasters a 50-year exclusive right to authorise or prohibit copying, fixation or redistribution of works. Giving intermediaries rights over content, they argue, “will change how the Internet functions,” adding “new tollbooths on the Internet.” The group is pushing for further analysis of the issue, which is being targeted for formal negotiation by 2007. In October, dozens of experts sent a letter to the leadership of the US Congress calling for a public comment period on the treaty proposals. Next week’s copyright committee will open with an information session on educational content and copyrights, then discuss exceptions and limitations for educational content, voluntary copyright registration systems, the protection of databases, the protection of broadcasters’ rights (IPW, Copyright, 16 November). 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 "Brazil Seeks Knowledge Access, Diversity In WIPO Broadcasting Treaty" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.