[A2k] WIPO Broadcasting Treaty – Paving the way for a right for on-demand streaming services?

Seth Johnson seth.p.johnson at gmail.com
Wed May 1 03:13:19 PDT 2019

On 5/1/19, Thiru Balasubramaniam <thiru at keionline.org> wrote:
> https://www.keionline.org/30551

See this exchange with Shira Perlmutter from 2014 (pasted below),
stating the connection of the xcasters treaty with retransmission
consent domestically.

I sent the following (turgid but now in present context much more
lucid) query as followup in February 2015:


"Your comments are stated in general terms regarding the CSTD/ECOSOC
WSIS+10 and Internet Governance Forum (IGF) proceedings, and they are
not responsive to the concerns I raised with Shira, which have to do
specifically with the broadcasters treaty, and international
copyright-related policymaking as it affects the Internet in general,
particularly in relation to the WSIS+10 Review and the
intergovernmental framework for the Information Society being
deliberated at the United Nations this year.

"Will we have the opportunity to engage on the topic of the
broadcasters treaty and retransmission consent, by an open and
participatory process, before the UN General Assembly’s
intergovernmental negotiations addressing the status and future of the
Information Society project in the latter half of this year?

"To my recollection, Shira’s note to me of December 10 is the first
mention I have seen of the US using retransmission consent as a
regulatory “national implementing legislation” basis for the
broadcaster’s treaty.  Has this specific notion, of applying
retransmission consent under the Communications Act to the Internet
and using that as the implementing legislation for the broadcaster’s
treaty, been subject to any kind of appropriate public disclosure and
discussion?  I believe there would have been far more concern
expressed if this had been the case, and the connection had been
explicitly understood."


—–Original Message—–
From: Seth Johnson [mailto:seth.p.johnson at gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2014 2:56 AM
To: Perlmutter, Shira
Cc: Jamie Love; Manon Anne Ress; Schlegelmilch, Kristine (Geneva);
Reves, Todd; Shapiro, Michael
Subject: Re: Question for today’s debrief on the SCCR

Thank you Shira, I will await further word.


On Wed, Dec 10, 2014 at 6:55 AM, Perlmutter, Shira
<Shira.Perlmutter at uspto.gov> wrote:
> Thanks Seth.  Within the USG, the State Dept has the lead on this.  I’m copying Kristine, who can give you more information on this.  But please be assured that the positions we are taking at WIPO, including on the proposed broadcast treaty, are the product of extensive interagency discussion, including the State Dept.  And our single-right approach is intended to be consistent with existing US law, primarily through the retransmission consent provisions of the Communications Act.   In our view, it would not require any new form of government regulation.
> Best,
> Shira
> ________________________________________
> From: Seth Johnson <seth.p.johnson at gmail.com>
> Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2014 12:33:47 PM
> To: Perlmutter, Shira
> Cc: James Love; Manon Ress
> Subject: Question for today’s debrief on the SCCR
> Dear Ms. Perlmutter:
> You are doubtless aware of the activities presently underway taking up
> numerous policy areas related to the Internet and developing of some
> form of “Internet Governance” in relation to the Information Society
> project, represented most prominently by the outcomes of the 2003 and
> 2005 Geneva and Tunis World Summits for the Information Society
> (WSIS).
> The US has generally promoted a multistakeholder approach and avoided
> a predominantly intergovernmental approach to Internet-related policy
> areas in these processes.
> The US has also generally asserted an opposition to expanding the
> ITU’s scope to the Internet through proposals that would amount to
> regulating of content, rather than telecommunications as such.  We
> might see this distinction reflected in the Information Society
> project’s performance measures, which are based on ISIC (International
> Standard Industrial Classification) categories which distinguish
> content-related industries from telecommunications.
> However, while the project’s performance measures do not include
> content creation, policies that the US is pursuing related to
> copyright, including the broadcasters right, are intergovernmental
> policies related to content that can easily affect the nature of the
> Internet platform.
> The Information Society project will be completing a 10-year
> assessment of its progress in 2015, beginning with a review by the
> Commission on Science and Technology in Development in the first half
> of the year, followed by an intergovernmental process conducted by the
> President of the General Assembly to determine the project’s status
> and how it will proceed after 2015.  This period of review of
> implementation and followup represents the last opportunity before the
> UN GA’s intergovernmental negotiations to address how well the project
> is addressing the relationship between the project and the Internet.
> The Internet Governance Forum will also provide a forum for
> multistakeholder engagement in Internet-related policy.
> Will the US be taking part in these forums to provide the opportunity
> for broader multistakeholder discussion of and engagement on the US’s
> activities on copyright and other related exclusive rights policies,
> prior to the conclusion of the Information Society project’s 10-year
> review?
> Sincerely,
> Seth Johnson

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