[A2k] Save the Date - 10 December 2014: The Broadcasting Treaty: A Solution in Search of a Problem?

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Wed Dec 10 01:41:32 PST 2014


On Wednesday, 10 December 2014, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) will
convene a side event entitled, "The Broadcasting Treaty: A Solution in
Search of a Problem?"; the event will take place in Room B of the World
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) from 13:30 to 15:00. Speakers
include: Nehaa Chaudhari, (Programme Officer at Centre for Internet and
Society, New Delhi/Banglaore), Jeremy Malcolm, (Senior Global Policy
Analyst, Electronic Frontier Foundation), James Love, (Director, KEI) and
Viviana Munoz Kieffer, (Coordinator, Innovation and Access to Knowledge
Programme, South Centre).


Since its first SCCR (Nov 2-10, 1998) WIPO and member states have been
asked to resolve the requests for new legal protections for broadcasting
organizations. All participants to the SCCR were asked then "to submit, by
the end of March 1999, proposals and/or views in treaty language or in
other form."

Since then the rights of broadcasting organizations have been on the
agenda. While the committee is still trying to identify precisely the
problems Broadcasters' rights (or right?)to be solved (piracy in its
broadest definition?), the proposal for a new international norm setting
may create a new layer of post fixation rights in content that broadcasters
do not create, license nor own.

The demandeurs i.e. some of the broadcasting organizations representatives
and some member states are listing endless rights such as transmission,
retransmission or deferred transmission whether simultaneous or near
simultaneous on demand of a broadcast signal to the public, as well as
transmission over the internet. Most of these rights exist in some form or
another in most WIPO member states. However, for many SCCR participants, if
the committee truly wants to move forward on this new norm setting exercise
it must focus on a narrow treaty based on a single right corresponding to
the core need of broadcasting organizations for protection from signal

After 15 years of negotiations, formal and informal, text based or not, it
is time to answer some of the following questions:

Would adding a new layer of rights over content on the internet be
consistent with the committee's mandate to limit protection to the
broadcaster's signal?

Would the new international right (or rights) have an impact on consumers
and creative communities globally?

Would the new instrument have the necessary exceptions for quotations or
news of the day?

Would the extension of the rights under discussion to cable television (and
services which already require subscriber fees) create a redundant layer of
protection to services already protected under other legal regimes and thus
be anticompetitive?

Would the protection of over the air broadcast signal be sufficient for
broadcasters? If not why not?

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