[A2k] #SCCR23: Statement by KEI on the protection of broadcasting organizations

Thirukumaran Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Tue Dec 6 03:09:54 PST 2011


#SCCR23: Statement by KEI on the protection of broadcasting organizations

With respect to broadcasting, KEI reiterates its opposition to work at WIPO on a new treaty for broadcasting organizations. 

When governments grant intellectual property rights to broadcasting organizations, they undermine the rights of copyright holders, and reduce the incomes of creative communities.

Our primary concern is that the proposed broadcasting treaty will be extended beyond the beneficiaries of the 1961 Rome Convention, to services such as cable television and satellite television and radio, which users have to pay for through subscriptions, and most importantly, to services provided over the Internet.

In its most aggressive formulations in terms of rights of casting entities, the treaty would provide up to 20 years or even perpetual exclusive rights in content for which the broadcaster did not create and does not own the copyright. This creates a thicket of permissions that makes it much more difficult to redistribute and reuse content.

Among the advocates for a intellectual property based broadcasting treaty are a number of giant media companies that package and aggregate copyright content into cable television channels, over pay services such as cable television or satellite television and radio. For many if not most countries, this will result in a transfer of income from local copyright owners to media conglomerates, such as Disney, Time Warner, Viacom, News Corp and Discovery.

We noted that major disagreements still remain about the objectives, specific scope and object of protection of such a treaty.

The broadcasting entities want a treaty that provides intellectual property rights for their broadcasts, like the Rome Convention provides, extended to new platforms, such as cable, satellite television and (for some delegates) the Internet. This is the wrong paradigm for the Internet, and unnecessary for any platform, where copyright and theft of service laws provide balance as regards users rights, and adequate remedies against unauthorized uses.


Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)

thiru at keionline.org

Tel: +41 22 791 6727
Mobile: +41 76 508 0997

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