Webcasting put on a separate track from the new draft WIPO Treaty

By EDRi · May 10, 2006

At the beginning of May 2006 the WIPO Standing Committee on
Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR/14) met in Geneva with the aim to decide
on recommendations to the WIPO General Assemblies 2006 in September on a
draft WIPO Treaty on the Protection of Broadcasting Organisations.

The proposals for a treaty giving new intellectual property rights for
broadcasting and webcasting organizations were discussed over five very
tense days. One of the critical points debated was whether or how to include
transmissions of broadcast over the Internet, known as webcasting. The
United States supported the inclusion of webcasting as an annex to the
treaty. The European Union favoured the inclusion of simulcasting
(simultaneous transmissions of broadcasts over the Internet).

A growing number of non-profit groups like CPTech, Electronic Frontier
Foundation, Public Knowledge, library groups (like IFLA, eIFL), IP-Justice
played an important role in opposing the treaty.

Intel Corporation also weighed in with their opposition to the draft treaty
considering that ” Proponents have not demonstrated that the benefits of
creating new exclusive rights outweigh the burdens that these new rights
impose”, including control of mobile device and digital home innovation,
Technical Protection Measures (TPM) that limit design freedom and harm
copyright owner interests and the public interest.

On the last day the SCCR finally decided to split the negotiations into two
parts: a treaty that will focus on “traditional” broadcasting and one on the
technologies that would deliver content over the Internet.

The first part, covering also the newer forms of broadcasting such as
cable or satellite TV, will be the subject of a meeting of WIPO SCCR in
August 2006 (date to be decided). WIPO member states will try to agree on
the text of a draft treaty for “traditional” broadcasting organisations and
to get approval and terms of reference from the WIPO General Assemblies
which meet in September for a diplomatic conference possibly in 2007.

The second part was put off to another committee meeting to be held in 2007.
Written proposals for the webcasting/simulcasting track are due by 1 August.
The United States accepted the bifurcation with the condition that if no
diplomatic conference is recommended in September on traditional
broadcasting, webcasting would be back on the table for future talks.

The decision was saluted by the opponents of the draft Treaty. CPTech
commented: “This is a victory for everyone who has opposed linking
webcasting to the broadcasting treaty. There is still a lot of work to be
done. There is a strong likihood the traditional broadcasting treaty will
move forward, and the EU will clearly push to expand this to cases where
broadcasters use the Internet.. The Internet is far safer now than before,
because the threat of a new treaty for Internet middleman is now much less

WIPO xcasting treaties — next steps (8.05.2006)

WIPO To Proceed On Broadcasting Treaty Talks Without Webcasting (5.05.2006)

WIPO To Proceed On Broadcasting Treaty Talks Without Webcasting

Statement of Intel Corporation Concerning the World Intellectual Property
Organization’s Proposed Treaty on the Protection of Broadcasting
Organizations (10.04.2006)

WIPO carves up the Internet (and the broadcast spectrum) (4.05.2006)

Draft Basic Proposal for the WIPO Treaty on the Protection of Broadcasting
Organziations – Including a Non-Mandatory Appendix on The Protection in
Relation to Webcasting. (8.02.2006)

Momentum Builds in Talks on Updating Rights of Broadcasting Organizations

EDRI-gram Report on WIPO general assemblies (5.10.2005)