CCIA,EFF, IFLA, KEI, ISOC, CIS views on the broadcasting treaty July 23, 2012

Once again a diverse group of NGOS spoke clearly against the treaty for broadcasting organizations. To quote CCIA “While the world’s governments can certainly create legal instruments with any language in them that they wish, surely granting copyright in objects that don’t exist would be difficult to justify to the wider public”. Well, the delegates are now back into informal sessions so the public in fact does not even know why they still work on more rights, (more road blocks) to solve signal piracy, already a crime I believe in most countries!

Here are some excerpts from the excellent interventions:

>> CCIA: […] We have heard for years in this chamber of how there’s rampant piracy of signals despite the case of every fact of infringement we have heard about has relied upon the contents rights in order to handle the infringement.
More fundamentally Madam Chair we’re reliably informed that signals cannot be fixed that it’s a simple physical impossibility. The signal which carries the programme irrespective of the medium through which that carrier signal travels no longer exists once a device capable of making the programme perceptible receives it.
To grant copyright in fixations or anything which requires a fixation such as reproduction distribution making available or rental is therefore to grant a right in an object which does not exist.
While the world’s governments can certainly create legal instruments with any language in them that they wish surely granting copyright in objects that don’t exist would be difficult to justify to the wider public. We have heard calls by many to have technology neutral protection. We can understand how this might sound ll to some but we can — logical to some but we can ensure it will create a number of unintended negative effects for example is it really useful to have international norms that turns any person who wants to stream something live on a platform like YouTube to a broadcaster with many decades of protection of their quote-unqoute signal? Madam Chair even in an entirely signal based Brussels Convention style approach this is a treaty in search of a problem. In a rights based formulation it’s a treaty that in many proposals extends copyright protections to fixal objects which aside from it’s logical indefensebility will lead to negative consequences for public domain as well as giving incumbents in delivery of programmes to the public. Thank you once again foreyour indulgence.

EFF: […]EFF has opposed the WIPO broadcast treaty since 2004 because it harms innovation and the free flow of information on the Internet since 2006 EFF and a broad coalition of public interest groups, libraries, creative industry members as well as the telecommunications and technology companies have explained how granting broadcasters and cablecasters tup envis angioid by a — intellectual property rights would envisage on the free and Open Internet specifically the preferable model for addressing these issues through the narrow signal based approach outlined in the satellite Conventions broadcasters claim that a treaty is needed to protect against signal piracy and the broadcast treaty is simply updating the rights for the Digital Age but what’s really at stake here is something more far reaching. This treaty will set the legal rules that will govern the distribution of information on the Internet the current treaty has been exclusive 50 year intellectual property right to the distributors that apply in parallel with copyright protections even when they had no role in creating the content being distributed although it’s not entire clear the new South African proposal and the non-paper and elements for our new treaties to contemplate intellectual property right for broadcasters and cablecasters this will raise the same set of public policy concerns rather by the existence of the draft treaty which has different innovations of anyone working without a visual content on the Internet.
The key issue here is the scope of the treaty. Broadcasters claim that they need the new treaty to deal with signal piracy the question here is the problem can be addressed in a way that does not infringe on citizens rights and all other stakeholders in the Internet economy. No empirical evidence has been presented that demonstrates what exactly harms will be interested but existing copyright regime and international laws and why broadcasters need intellectual property rights to deal with signal effect. They — the issue is the narrow signaling based approach in the Brussels Convention but broadcasters look for intellectual property rights that will overlap these rights this will signal treatment of consequence for freedom of expression in the Internet economy at a time when the future of the broadcasting is already unclear giving broadcasters a set of legal privilege is a surefire way to damage speech and innovation in the global Internet again granting broadcasters and cablecasters rights to authorize transmissions of broadcasts over the Internet we allow them to block competition and innovation by allowing them to control the types of devices that can receive transmissions and will create risks for the Internet. Thank you.

IFLA eiFL, LCA Thank you, Madam Chair I’m speaking on behalf of the International Federation of Library Associations and institution electronic communication for libraries and Library Copyright Alliance. We continue to believe that there is no compelling public policy reason for an international instrument on the protection of broadcasting signals we believe enforcement measures under existing laws and treaties adequately protect the piracy of broadcast signals. We’re concerned that an additional layer of rights in this area distorts the balance between adequate rights for creators of content and fundamental rights for libraries archives the visually impaired and people with print disabilities and educational institutions to make use of and provide access to content that we have also been discussing during this meeting nevertheless since discussions are continuing we wish to raise our concerns again regarding the protection of rebroadcasts we note that Article 3 of South Africa and Mexico’s updated proposals in SCCR 24/5 indicate that’s mere retransmissions of broadcast signals are not covered we maintain the scope of application of any treaty should explicitly state that protection of broadcast signals extends only to the first transmission of content. Otherwise Broadcasting Organisations may renew protection over a work simply by rebroadcasting it in this way Broadcasting Organisations may acquire control of works that outlasts the protection given to authors and performing artists libraries have practical experience of this programme and at SCCR 23 we gave an example of this.
We have heard the committee talk about a treaty for the protection of broadcasting signals for over ten years. Yet discussions on an instrument ensuring ac to — Access to Work to the visually impaired began over 30 years ago at WIPO it’s now 2012 and agreement on ensuring access for the world’s blind is close we urge it the committee to make it a priority to present a recommendation for the diplomatic conference in 2013 on a treaty for visually impaired and print disabled people to the General Assembly we understand that this session’s focus should be to progress the instrument for the blind and visually impaired diverting time for discussions from libraries and archives however we hope and fully expect the committee will safeguard substantive time to discuss this at SCCR 25

CIS […] we wish to reiterate the statement on principles provided in the 22nd SCCR by many Civil Society NonGovernmental Organisations, cablecasters and technology companies opposing a rights based Broadcasting Treaty and we would like to associate ourselves with the statements made today by CCIA, IFLA, IEFL and KEI […]
Broadcasters make three kinds of investments for which they are protected they invest in broadcasting infrastructure, they invest in licensing copyrighted works and at time they invest in created and copyrighted works the first investment is protected by broadcasters rights and the latter two investments are already protected by Copyright Law and need no treaty protection the investments to be made in infrastructure for
Based transmission that is Internet Protocol based transmission is insignificant and hence IP based transmission even if it is retransmission should not be covered by this treaty unfortunately the non-paper right now does seem to cover it.
Technology neutrality should not be taken to such an extent as to forget why we are granting additional protection to broadcasters in the first place. The MPA mentioned cause of action. The fact is, most legal systems already allow for licensees like broadcasters to have cause of action for copyright infringement. A global treaty is not needed to grant them this cause of action.
Lastly, there are many inconsistencies in the Chair’s non-paper. While it proclaims that it is only extends protection to broadcast signals and not the subject matter carried by such signals the rest of the document does not do so fixation cannot be covered in a signals based approach nor does it make any logical sense to provide 20 years of protection for a signal that lasts mere milliseconds as the delegates would recall the General Assembly’s mandate was for a signals based approach and not a right based approach. Thank you, Chair.

KEI: […]I’m just going to highlight a couple of things. I think a lot of people have highlighted this and that is what is the problem you’re trying to solve with the broadcast treaty? It’s confusing to a lot of us because we assume that all of the different copyright treaties and related rights treaties that have been passed make it illegal to do piracy of like HBO shows and sit coms and telephones and things like that we already assume if everybody is broadcasting copyrighted content it’s — you go to jail or pay a fine if you pirate it it’s almost as if this treaty is being presented if there’s some problem in the enforcement area and maybe there is. So we would invite MPA and other people that have expressed some concerns about this somehow explain it to us what problem they are trying to solve because I think that would be kind of important for us to know. We just don’t really like the idea of creating the opportunity where lots of people with sue us and we have to go to lots of people to get permissions to do things and you — and you can’t blame us as the user and not really enjoying that environment so if there’s a case to be made it hasn’t been made in a way that we understand it yet.
Secondly the Japanese broadcasters they said it’s all about consistency we have to update treaties for the Internet because we have done it for some other issues and I think that’s kind of a bogus argument because no one has bothered to update the Berne appendix to make that relevant to the Internet it doesn’t seem to bother everybody so I don’t think you have to just update something because it’s out there even if you do update are you going to update the Brussels Convention or Rome Convention because they take really different approaches on things.
If — the proposal for 20 year term for the signal just doesn’t make sense to a lot of us. Lastly, I think what we came up with is economic rights in the thing like the 20 year term suggests or earlier proposals and I don’t know if it’s still there because we don’t really understand it well but in the old days what was happening was the people that packaged content like the Disney Channel or the Discovery Channel or ESPN or things like that, they were the primary beneficiaries of new money out of this agreement. It wasn’t the people who would run cables to your house or build towers but people that packaged the channels together if so it would be good to know how much money will be transferred from pocket A to pocket B because of the new right and who would be paying money and who would be receiving money. Thank you very much.

>> Internet Society: Thank you, Madam Chair. The Internet Society welcomes the opportunity to deliver a statement on this 24th session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights of theWorld Intellectual Property Organisation we welcome the ongoing work for the protection of Broadcasting Organisations we would like to stress at this point in time it’s critical to take into account new economic social and technological development such as the Internet Revolution ISOC is a non-profit organisation and embedded in the fabric of organisations such as the Internet Engineering Task Force the Worldwide Web Consortium and ICANN we work with governments national international organisations Civil Society and the Private Sector to pursuit out objectives in a collaborative and inclusive manner this is the multistakeholder model of the ecosystem the Internet Society recognizes the work that both WIPO and Member States have put on the issue of protecting Broadcasting Organisations and appreciates any initiative that seeks to inhibit things through signal theft we also understand the proposals of this new treaty focus on recognizing new rights to broadcast organisations to this side we are concerned about the potentially adverse impact these new rights might have on creativity we think this might be counter productive in the development of innovative content and new business models and might unnecessarily raise the cost for new Internet uses in general the digital technologies provide the tools for artistic expression through various forms over the past few years the setting of video and audio has allowed platforms to emerge for assembling clips for the — for journalism or human rights advocacy various existing copyright regimes allow such activities with technology being more ubiquitous participation in such multimedia fora is gaining more momentum we believe issues of signal piracy are currently covered by the Brussels Convention and that the Convention addresses these issues effectively and a new set of rights based on copyright could have an adverse effect on the koebt creators and Internet users as well as the Internet evolution contacting members of the Brussels Convention are already committed to take adequate measures to prevent unauthorized distribution of any programme carrying transmission by satellite to this set no evidence has been provided which suggests the Brussels Convention is not an adequate legal instrument at the minimum level it’s vital any discussions on the protection of the new treaty for Broadcasting Organisations takes into account Information Technology as well as the rights of end users we believe that any treaty which relates to issues pertaining to the Internet either directly or indirectly should respect the Internet’s open and generative nature as well as it’s architecture we further believe any issues pertaining to the Internet should be the liberated under inclusive multistakeholder environment as established by the world sum Milton Information Society Tunis agenda the Internet Society hopes discussions within WIPO on issues pertaining to the Internet will be conducted under a similar multistakeholder approach. Thank you.