WIPO Working Toward Agreement To Finish Broadcasting Treaty This Week 26/11/2018 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)The World Intellectual Property Organization copyright committee is meeting this week with a top agenda item of sending a longstanding treaty on copyright for broadcasters to its final conclusion. Dozens of lobbyists, mainly from Europe and North America, are on hand to help. Café Art’s in Geneva, a good way to start a week of World Intellectual Property Organization negotiations on copyright, including artists’ rights. The 37th session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) is meeting from 26-30 November. The meeting documents are available here. The primary topic of discussion this week is a draft text of treaty for the protection of broadcasting organizations (document SCCR/36/6), which have been lobbying for years to have more rights to protect against signal theft. Momentum has picked up in recent years and was given a boost by the annual WIPO General Assembly recently (IPW, Copyright Policy, 28 September 2018) when it gave its approval for the copyright committee to finish talks and move to recommend a diplomatic conference on a broadcasting treaty. A diplomatic conference is a final high-level negotiating meeting. The last SCCR meeting, held in May 2018, agreed on the draft broadcasting treaty text and on action items (IPW, Copyright Policy, 31 May 2018). The other top issues of the week are two tracks for limitations and exceptions to copyright to ensure certain sectors, such as libraries, archives, educational and research institutions, are able to appropriately access copyrighted works. Schedule for the Week The schedule for the week currently looks like this. Today and tomorrow (Tuesday) all day will be devoted to the text on broadcasting. Wednesday will focus on limitations and exceptions to copyright for libraries and archives, and will move into limitations and exceptions for educational and research institutions and for persons with disabilities other than visual impairment. On Thursday, discussion will also move to three other matters of significance. These include: a proposal (SCCR/35/4 originally from Brazil) for analysis of copyright related to the digital environment; a proposal (SCCR/35/7) from Senegal and Congo to include resale right for artists in the agenda of future work by the committee; and a proposal (SCCR/35/8) from Russia on strengthening the protection of theatre directors’ rights at the international level. Thursday will also see a short film on the Accessible Books Consortium of WIPO, an industry effort tied to the Marrakesh Treaty on limitations and exceptions to copyright for the blind and visually impaired. On Friday, the committee will try to agree on a meeting summary by the chair and will address any other matters. At press time, nongovernmental observers were being given a chance to offer their views on the broadcasting treaty. The chair then planned to offer Argentina and the United States to explain their new proposals this week, and then the meeting was likely to head into closed-door informal negotiations. There are more than 110 nongovernmental organisation representatives registered to attend this week’s meeting, according to a preliminary WIPO list of observers. For instance, the North American Broadcasters Association is represented by Bradley Silver, chief intellectual property counsel at Warner Media in New York, and Ian Slotin, senior vice president of NBC Universal in Los Angeles. The International Publishers Association has listed more than a dozen participants from across Europe and beyond. And proponents of libraries, archivists, and others from the knowledge access side are attending in force. As an aside, there were no new nongovernmental organisations asking to be considered for approval as observers to the committee this week. New Proposals this Week There are two new documents this week. One is an updated proposal (SCCR/37/2) from Argentina on the definition of deferred transmissions, those that can be shown at later times. It appears to seek to rein in the length of time of a deferred transmission. The second new proposal (SCCR/37/7) comes from the United States, adding clauses into the existing text on broadcasting that would clarify the scope of protection and the need for countries to retain their national laws. Opening Statements Regional groups made opening statements today. Morocco for the African Group specifically highlighted the importance of the limitations and exceptions initiatives, saying it plays an “extremely important” for its economic and social development. The Group of Latin American and Caribbean countries (GRULAC) also highlighted its importance for economy and society of developing countries. The African Group spokesperson reminded participants of the 2012 WIPO General Assembly decision to work toward one or more legal instruments on limitations and exceptions, and said members “should not lose sight of the importance of having multilateral treaties in this area.” Indonesia for the Asia-Pacific Group also recalled the 2012 Assembly guidance. The African Group also reminded the committee that it has run amiss of a 2010 General Assembly decision that all committees must report on their activities under the WIPO Development Agenda. In 2018, the delegate said, only the WIPO Intergovernmental Organization on Traditional Knowledge, Genetic Resources and Folklore (IGC) has done so. GRULAC and others mentioned the importance of “balance” in copyright, a way of suggesting that with copyright protection should come exceptions for particular uses. GRULAC mentioned the Brazilian proposal for a study on copyright and the digital environment, which would bear down on details about how copyrighted works are shared, and indicated support for Argentina’s proposal on broadcasting. The European Union spoke for a broadcasting treaty that reflects the “21st century technological reality,” against a legally binding treaty for limitations and exceptions, and in favour of the artist’s resale rights. Long Negotiations, Nearing Completion? The broadcasting treaty has been under negotiation for decades at WIPO. It nearly reached a diplomatic conference in 2007 before collapsing at the last minute (IPW, WIPO, 22 June 2007). But a new life was breathed into the negotiations in the past couple of years after some earlier blockages appeared to be removed. Since that time, the copyright committee has seen agreement and implementation of two other treaties, one on limitations and exceptions for blind and visual impaired readers (Marrakesh Treaty), and one on audiovisual services (Beijing Treaty). Image Credits: William New 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 William New may be reached at email@example.com."WIPO Working Toward Agreement To Finish Broadcasting Treaty This Week" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.