[A2k] SCCR28: KEI statement on the progress of the WIPO Broadcast Treaty

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Wed Jul 2 05:14:27 PDT 2014


SCCR28: KEI statement on the progress of the WIPO Broadcast Treaty


http://keionline.org/node/2036


2 July 2014

On day 3 of WIPO's Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights
(SCCR28), it appears the Committee has Treaty fever for an instrument for
the protection of traditional broadcasting [and cablecasting]. In plenary
today, the Chair, Martin Moscoso (Peru) reported on the progress made in
informal negotiations. In plenary, the Chair reviewed discussions on 1)
simultaneous and near-simultaneous retransmission of the broadcast signal
to the public over any medium, 2) transmission of the broadcast signal to
the public from a fixation and over any medium (not limited in time)
including [the making available right] in such a way that members of the
public may access it from a place and at a time individually chosen by them
and 3) fixation of a broadcast signal, reproduction of fixations of
broadcasts, distribution of fixations (copies) of broadcasts, performance
of broadcast signal in places accessible to the public [against payment of
an entrance fee].

Sri Lanka (Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe, Additional Solicitor General)
proposed simplifying the text (combining elements 1 and 2) with
"transmission of the broadcast signal to the public from a fixation and
over any medium whether simultaneous, near-simultaneous or deferred (not
limited in time) including in such a way that members of the public may
access it from a place and at a time individually chosen by them."

In plenary, the Chair outlined that the Committee would further consider a
matrix of rights under the following actions 1) Mandatory (minimum), 2)
Opt-in and 3) Exclude from treaty application a priori. It appeared that
protection for traditional broadcasting [and cablecasting] (wireless or by
wire) would be considered as a mandatory minimum. However in terms of
"transmission over the internet [if included, only for
broadcasting/cablecasting organizations in the traditional sense] and its
relationship with 1) simulcasting, 2) deferred linear transmission of
broadcast signal and 3) on-demand transmission of broadcast signal
(catch-up), the jury still remains out.

In the context of these discussions, KEI delivered the following statement.

"KEI continues to believe that the demandeurs for the broadcasting treaty
have not met the burden of providing enough evidence for their need to have
more exclusive rights to fight piracy. Moreover, some of the broadcasters
still are asking for a new layer of post fixation rights in content they
did not create, license or own.

In our view, if the committee wants to move forward on this topic it should
focus on a narrow treaty based on a single right corresponding to the core
need of broadcasting organizations for protection from signal piracy.

If there is to be a treaty, it should involve a single right to authorize
the simultaneous or near simultaneous transmission of signal to the public.
(we liked Sri Lanka "simpler" and elegant language proposal:transmission,
retransmission or deferred transmission whether simultaneous or near
simultaneous on demand of a broadcast signal to the public. But of course
we do not like the broad "over any means")

To avoid a number of negatives, the committee should stay clear of
transmission over the internet, an issue which is clearly not ready for
prime time.

Adding a new layer of rights over content on the internet would not be
consistent with the committee's mandate to limit protection to the
broadcaster's signal, nor with existing legislation in most "countries, and
would also have negative impacts on consumers and creative communities
globally.

Consumers do not want to face new barriers to using broadcasts, beyond that
which exists in copyright. KEI notes that the mandatory copyright
exceptions for quotations or news of the day are highly relevant to
broadcasting.

KEI also questions and opposes the extension of broadcaster rights to cable
television and other services which require subscriber fees, and which are
protected under other legal regimes, such as theft of service laws. The
focus on the treaty should be on over the air broadcasts which are free to
the public.



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