[A2k] Updated KEI timeline of the broadcast treaty negotiations (including developments at SCCR 36)

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Thu Jun 14 02:35:00 PDT 2018


The KEI  timeline of the broadcast treaty negotiations has been updated to
include developments at SCCR 36.

Here are some reactions to the proposed WIPO treaty for the protection of
broadcasting organizations collected by KEI during WIPO SCCR 36.

“In an age where everyone can be a broadcaster online, it makes less sense
than ever to be granting companies special rights over content merely for
having broadcasted it. When such content is protected by copyright anyway,
this secondary layer of rights is superfluous and will complicate
licensing. When it isn’t protected by copyright, then the outcome is even
worse; inhibiting access to the public domain for as long as 50 years after
broadcast. If it attempts to do anything more than protect broadcasters
against signal piracy, the Broadcasting Treaty would be positively
harmful.” (Jeremy Malcolm, Senior Global Policy Analyst, *Electronic
Frontier Foundation*)

“In many ways, the longer this negotiation has dragged on, the worse the
proposals have become. The most recent Chair’s text, by Daren Tang, would
give broadcasters rights over material they never created, owned or
licensed, for decades after copyrights had expired. Even though the
broadcasters have no claim to authorship or performance, the text proposes
the most restrictive language on exceptions of any international copyright
or related rights treaty. Broadcasters now have language in the chairman’s
text that would extend this new layer of rights to works that were first
transmitted on the Internet, and streamed on demand. The treaty creates all
sorts of new problems, largely because negotiators have pandered to
broadcasters, and ignore everyone else.” (James Love, Director, *Knowledge
Ecology International*)

“We are particularly concerned that the new text disproportionately favors
the interests of broadcasters, creating a new exclusive right that would be
operationally protected in perpetuity. The complete disappearance of a
clause containing a list of exceptions and limitations calls into question
the exercise of human rights. It must be acknowledged that the regime is
already much more inclined to protectionist thinking, and the slight
reference in the text to limitations and exceptions prevents the re-use of
copyright-protected works that are not even owned by broadcasters.” (Amalia
Toledo, Coordinadora de Proyectos, *Fundación Karisma*)

“This is an ever-changing solution to an undefined problem for which there
is no evidence or urgency. After 20 years, the sky hasn’t fallen. WIPO and
the world do not need another Washington Treaty on Integrated Circuits that
was unnecessary and obsolete when it adopted in 1989 and still hasn’t
entered into force 29 years later. This proposed treaty, as it stands, will
result in potentially serious costs and complexity causing harm to the
internet and copyright law by imposing a totally unnecessary layer of
rights at a time of rapidly changing technology, regulation and business
models.” (Howard Knopf, *Civil Society Coalition*)

“The proposal on the table not only offers the wrong solution to the
problem in hand, but in doing so creates new problems. These range from
lost revenues for other rightholders, and new barriers to libraries,
archives and museums in their work of preserving and giving access to
audiovisual heritage, in the absence of complete exceptions and
limitations.” (Stephen Wyber, Manager, Policy and Advocacy, *International
Federation of Library Associations and Institutions*)

“Communia is worried that the proposed broadcast treaty will be pushed
forward without legislative mechanisms to protect users rights and the
public domain. We believe that international treaties that focus only on
the protection of private interests have long lost their social legitimacy.
We thus urge the SCCR to deliver a draft that balances the interests of the
broadcasting organizations with the public interests related with access to
knowledge, education and culture.” (Teresa Nobre, Legal Expert on Copyright,
 *Communia International Association on the Digital Public Domain)*

There are hardly any safeguards in the treaty to limit the adverse effects
this treaty is set to have on the knowledge economy. Oft-repeated claims of
how the treaty purports to protect the signal per se are in deep ignorance
of the reality that signal and content go hand-in-hand, and excessive
control of the former is bound to affect the flow of the latter. Despite
many civil society organisations raising legitimate fears about the
potential misuse of this protection by broadcasters, negotiators have
failed to take cognizance and provide suitable safeguards/ remedies in the
public-interest (Anubha Sinha, *Centre for Internet and Society, India*).”

Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International
41 22 791 6727
thiru at keionline.org

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