WIPO Negotiators Try To Bear Down On Broadcasting Treaty 18/01/2007 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)By William New World Intellectual Property Organization officials negotiating this week on how to improve broadcasters’ and cablecasters’ ability to protect their signals have attempted to move into a deeper debate using an informal chair’s text of a draft treaty. More discussion among negotiators arose on 18 January after a quiet first day, but the most open debate may have occurred after negotiators removed the dozens of accredited non-governmental representatives from the room and went into closed, “informal” talks into the night. On the second day, Chairman Jukka Liedes of Finland circulated two more “non-papers” (with no official status) suggesting draft treaty provisions. The new papers included: Relation to other conventions and treaties; scope of applications; national treatment; limitations and exceptions; and terms of protection. These were combined into a single additional paper along with the chair’s previous non-papers into a series of 20 draft treaty articles, many still blank. The previous non-papers covered: object of protection; definitions; rights in the broadcast; protection of uses following broadcasting; protection of encryption and relevant information; and protection of pre-broadcast signal. There also was an initial one on the way to proceed with the negotiations (IPW, Broadcasting, 17 January). Some delegations, such as Brazil, raised questions about the chair’s method of introducing non-papers, and an attempt by Liedes to quickly walk through the pre-existing draft treaty, or “basic proposal”, SCCR/15/2, which was deemed too complex to bring consensus. India also raised concern about the method of work and about exclusive rights being given to broadcasters, arguing that broadcasters should not receive rights they did not already have contractually. Several governments called for all to show flexibility. Canada clarified that its 2003 proposal to allow retransmissions of broadcasts was not intended to allow people to retransmit outside of the country. Australia said there is a need to update broadcasters’ rights as “gaps have been exposed” that are not covered internationally such as the use of cable for transmission and retransmission of broadcasts, Internet streaming and satellite transmission. The meeting of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights is meeting from 17 to 19 January. It is under mandate to resolve differences on SCCR/15/2 by end of June or no formal treaty negotiation will take place in late 2007. Non-governmental Views Also on 18 January, rights holders issued a group statement in support of the treaty with certain conditions. The group included more than a dozen associations representing authors, music publishers, performers, phonogram producers and film producers. Rights holders said the treaty should avoid impact on their interests and preserve terms of other international treaties; provide protection against misappropriation of the signal only; and not undermine treaties covering copyright and related rights as well as exceptions and limitations. Non-governmental groups gave their views to the room early in the day. Several urged that the focus of the negotiation not hinge on the potential treaty’s relation to the 1961 Rome Convention. Rather, it was suggested that the 1974 Brussels Satellite Convention, which covers signal theft, is closer to the spirit of the narrowed broadcasting treaty. The October WIPO General Assembly decided that the broadcasting treaty would be limited to signal theft. The European Union has remained steadfast in its view that the treaty must not derogate from the Rome Convention, a provision included in the chair’s draft. A number of WIPO members have never adopted the Rome Convention. The European Broadcasting Union said the Internet represents the biggest piracy problem and broadcasters should be given rights over such transmissions. Also urged was consideration of strengthening exceptions to copyright law to allow libraries and others to deliver digital content and services, also included in the chair’s draft. “Nowadays, libraries must adopt sometimes absurd practices in order to comply with copyright law,” said Teresa Hackett of Electronic Information for Libraries and the International Federation of Library Associations. “Libraries services are stymied when they should be expanding and developing in response to new technologies.” Chile and the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean stated support for limitations and exceptions. The Electronic Frontier Foundation said the treaty raises fundamental questions for the rights of public and would restrict access to information in the public domain. Some broadcasters, such as from Japan, countered that absence of greater rights would weaken broadcasters and lead to less information and entertainment being made available to the public. After nearly a decade of negotiations, technology companies have begun increasing their participation in the past year. Telecommunications and technology companies this week are urging that the treaty not interfere with consumers ability to use home and personal network technologies, nor interfere with Internet service providers’ ability to transmit content. Some groups also called for a return to negotiating a stalled treaty on audiovisual services to give more protection to performers. William New may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 "WIPO Negotiators Try To Bear Down On Broadcasting Treaty" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.