Broadcasting & Webcasting is Back on Track at WIPO

The webcast of WIPO General Assemblies taking place this week (September 23 to October 2, 2013) in Geneva, Switzerland is now available on demand. The Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) work program starts at minute 33 of the morning session of Thursday September 26 (first video of the day). It is all about broadcasting & webcasting and whether or not the casting treaty is ready or not ready for prime time, it seems to be moving quite fast to the top of the agenda of the SCCR.

Shira Perlmutter, Chief Policy Officer and Director for International Affairs at the USPTO, made the statement for the US Delegation on Thursday September 26 at minute 51.39. In summary, the US support “priority work for a signal-based instrument to protect broadcasting in the traditional sense.” According to the US, the focus should be on unauthorized retransmission of signal on “any platform including on the internet.” The work should take place during 3 days of the December 2013 SCCR and continue during the 3 Sessions planned for 2013 preferably in April, July and November. At the next General Assembly in 2014, there should a decision regarding whether and when to hold a diplomatic conference.

On limitations and exceptions, the US supports “deepening understanding of limitations and exceptions for libraries, archives and for people with other disabilities” and wants to continue “sharing and learning to improve common understanding”. However, for the US “moving to norm settings would not be productive.”

In conclusion: the US is saying YES to an instrument to protect broadcasters and webcasters and NO to an instrument for libraries and education. Time to read (again) SCCR/24/10 corr. and attend more SCCR meetings to make sure the narrow instrument for casters does not become too broad in scope and results in negative and unintented consequences for creators and consumers.