Results of the WIPO’s SCCR Special Session 1
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The broadcast treaty was the only item on the agenda of the three-day
special session of WIPO’s standing committee on copyright and related
rights. (SCCR). At the meeting it became clear that no-one really knew
how to proceed with the negotiations. The chairman Jukka Liedes (Finland)
tried to solve the gridlock by distributing several “non-papers”, which
included a new language for the treaty, which he aimed to be a “minimalistic” approach to the treaty. This approach did not have too much
success as many of the delegates wanted to use the existing documents as the
basis of further negotiations.
From the NGOs-perspective, the positive side of the meeting was that there
was finally a change: an intervention could be made at the plenary session.
In its public address, EDRI strongly opposed any inclusion of technological
protection measures (TPM) into the treaty. The organization also stressed
that if a TPM-clause was to be added anyway, there had to be strong explicit
provisions protecting the interest of the general public, especially with
respect to access to information. Furthermore, EDRI pointed out that the
text that the chairman had proposed would have made all general purpose
computers illegal since they are – with a designed piece of software –
capable of decrypting an encrypted broadcast.
However, the NGOs were sent out from the plenary room for almost a day
as the governments wanted to discuss the matters by themselves.
Apparently the closed session did not really help since after the NGOs
were allowed to go back in, the situation was still as confused as it had
Manon Ress describes the situation at the end of the meeting in
“.. The chair did not want “too many to speak” but had to let India make
its statement. Asking for clarification, India describe how the list of
matters did not reflect agreement and was just a list of matters that
have been discussed for years. According to the mandate, only matters
where agreement was reached should be listed.
The plenary ended on that note. People here are puzzled. If you only
point to agreement (on or off the record it seems), the non-conclusions
might end up very very short. Would that mean that this meeting did not
really happen? Like a non-meeting?”
After the non-papers, here come the “non-conclusions” (19.01.2007)
Impasse at WIPO broadcasting negotiations: Our ship is sinking (19.01.2007)
First Special Session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related
Blogging the WIPO Broadcasting Treaty: Signal-Based Protection or Rights by
Any Other Name? (19.01.2007)
(Contribution by Ville Oksanen – EDRI-member Electronic Frontier Finland)