Friday, January 19, 2007

WIPO Broadcasting Treaty - Update January 19, 2006

The current "non-meeting" is over.

There will be another meeting around June 18-22, 2007. There is supposed to be documentation ready and circulated no later than May 1, 2007 in preparation for that meeting.

If there is no consensus on a signal based approach in the June meeting, there will be no diplomatic conference later this year. But for a variety of reasons and complex politics, that doesn't mean that this initiative will then necessarily die.

In spite of the fact that there is been little progress on this in 9 years, and the Chairman and the WIPO Secretariat do not appear to be hearing many things they do not wish to hear, including the strong message that only a signal based approach will fly, the "non-papers" still focus on exclusive rights - which is where the money is, particularly in retransmission.

Here's a couple of terrific blogs to provide more detail:

Jamie Love, with his superb communication skills, has probably done more than anyone to expose the problems of this proposed treaty. He writes about it in the widely read Huffington Post.

The EFF provides a detailed analysis and narrative of what happened and didn't happen in the last three days.

This initiative has tremendous potential for danger to the progress of new technology, the future of the public domain, and the imposition of new costs and controls on consumer behaviour.

To the extent that the broadcasters have a case - and they do in some respects and in some countries - they may wish to consider a far less overreaching approach.

Now that some formidable corporate and NGO opposition has lined up and been energized, the momentum for this treaty has apparently been lost.



  1. I am curious if you could compare/contrast what is being asked for in the new Broadcasting treaty and what is already in the Canadian Copyright act under Section 21: "Rights of Broadcasters".

  2. Good question.

    For starters, exclusive retransmission right and TPM/DRM protection.


  3. Wouldn't broadcasters be given TPM/DRM protection as soon as Canada offers this paracopyright protection for other Canadian copyright holders?

    How would a new retransmission right integrate with Canada's current compulsory licensing regime, and the current exception for Internet retransmission?