SCCR 30 End of Session on the Broadcasters’ Treaty: Snail pace to -almost- reach consensus

July 1, 2015 2d Morning Session

The morning started and ended with the clear impression that there was no consensus on whether definitions are needed or not regarding broadcasting organizations or broadcasting itself. Still, Romania and the Central European States and Balkans group as well as the Russian Federation were calling for text-based work and were talking about “a road map to a diplomatic conference.”

Text + Diplomatic Conference = Treaty? Well, that is the usual and expected WIPO process but in this case, the proposed broadcasting treaty is (and has been for over 15 years) quite a controversial and difficult topic for this committee.

Some delegations such as Iran agreed with the need to work on a text but expressed serious doubt or concerns regarding the timing of a diplomatic conference. “It would be premature to discuss when we could have a diplomatic conference” said the Iranian Delegate. The US actually agreed with that position and while supportive of text-based work regarding the issues discussed to find acceptable (still bracketed) language, is not ready to call for a diplomatic conference. Yet. This position was also supported by India. South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal, all clearly supported text based negotiations and “a clear road map to our goal”.

The EU (and some of the very few members states that took the floor such as Romania and Serbia) was disappointed of course and wanted more progress on substance such as terms and TPMs.

At the end of the session, the only “consensus” that became clear was that that the Chair should prepare a text so the delegates can have text-based negotiations. But there were no consensus on scope, object or rights. As the Chair stated the delegations “shared views on definitions but did not reach consensus.”

Here is the transcript after the coffee break to conclude with the item 6 i.e broadcasting. The committee will probably talk about this again on Friday when trying to reach official conclusions. Or not.

Chair: Welcome back. We have undertaken a set of exchange of views regarding the definitions in order to summarize it. I should say that there was some views that starting with the definition of broadcasting will clarify then the possibility of extend to defining what is called a broadcasting organization and in doing so we will have clarity on the beneficiaries.
But I would like to highlight that that clarity on the beneficiaries is key for the future work on this topic. One option has been said is if it is required definitely the chance to have a definition of broadcasting organization and some Delegations are on the view that we should or some others that we — that it is not necessary. That will come up after Consensus on the definition of broadcasting. However even if we manage to have one definition or not regarding a broadcasting organization absolute clarity should be among us regarding the — who are the beneficiaries of the Treaty, of the proposed Treaty. And I think that that question is still on the ground. Further thoughts should be exchanged regarding that. And, of course, the floor is open[…]
but if you have initial thoughts regarding beneficiary you are very welcome to do so. We have heard the opinion coming from European Union to that respect. But you are invited to give views on that as well.
If we don’t because it is still premature or you need more time to think about that, my purpose is to receive your views regarding on the next stage because we are approaching to a stage where the different views have already been expressed, that we are now narrowing the options we have in a way to try to reach a Consensus with some of the clarifications still needed for some Delegations. And in this way the next way to proceed we will require a Consensus coming from the floor as well.
So suggestions are welcome regarding that effort to be undertaken. Because as I said in the case of the broadcasting or the definition, for example, of broadcasting some elements have been expressed but then in order to keep on working we should then concretize in details what we are going to discuss and in order to undertake that effort well, we have different texts on the different documents and I think that it would be interesting to hear your views regarding how to efficiently proceed to do so.
We have recorded Italy as requesting from the floor.
>> ITALY: No thank you, Chairman. It was a mistake.
>> CHAIR: Okay. Thanks for that. Well, so I just invite you if you have thoughts regarding the topics that we have discussed before please take this chance to exchange them. If not we can additionally hear your views regarding how to proceed because which are the options we have? We have different proposals going in different directions and probably trying to show what we have discussed until now should be needed and trying to reflect what we have discussed until now somehow would be required. So even if I can have some ideas regarding that it is always interesting to listen to your views and then try to encompass those ideas in something that can become a proposal from my side.
So I open the floor to listen your views. Romania has the floor.
>> ROMANIA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think we can all agree that we have had positive useful discussions over the last days and this is indeed encouraging to us. In order to be able to continue making progress we believe that it is essential at this stage to move to a text-based discussion. In our view such a text should be a streamlined consolidated one that would capture the conclusions reached during these days. Also with the view to expediting our work we support a clear roadmap towards the convening of a Diplomatic Conference in the next biennium. We consider it is high time to update the international legal framework by granting adequate modern protection to broadcasting organization. Thank you.
[…]> ROMANIA: Sorry I haven’t mentioned it. Yes, it is a statement delivered on behalf of the CEBS group. Thank you.
>> RUSSIAN FEDERATION: Thank you, Chairman. The Russian Delegation fully supports the proposal that has just been made by the row main yan Delegate. We have more than once made a proposal about the need to work directly on the text of the Treaty. And I’m sure that everyone remembers that long ago, five years ago we did have such a text of the Treaty. Today it has acquired new provisions, and much work has been done on it. And it seems to me that in order to draw closer to a Diplomatic Conference we couldn’t now get down to consolidating the text. It is very important to have a stage by stage examination of the ideas contained in the text.
And in the context of such a consolidated text it is on the basis of such a text we could find a solution to the problems that have just been raised at this session and about particular definitions. It seems to me that it would be the text that would help us
And in the context of such a consolidated text it is on the basis of such a text we could find a solution to the problems that have just been raised at this session and about particular definitions. It seems to me that it would be the text that would help us best to overcome these problems that have been described. If we adopted another route I think that would significantly complicate our work. So we are in favor of working on a consolidated text that II am sure the Secretariat could prepare for the next session on the basis of our discussions here. Thank you.
JAPAN: Thank you, Mr. Chair. As I stated in our group opening statement our group hopes that we could agree at this session on a positive and forward looking momentum. In this regard technical progress at this session has to be transformed in to such momentum which bring us to our goal. So far Mr. Chair you led — you have led our technical discussion in a very wise and professional manner. So we would like to — we are looking forward to your wise guidance in this regard to agree with such a way forward, forward looking and positive momentum at this session. I Thank you, Mr. Chair.
>> Thank you Mr. Chair. The Serbian Delegation would like to associate itself with the Romanian position completely. Are we still in a position to discuss because in the previous session I did not have time to make comments on who should be the beneficiaries of this Treaty. Shall I give a comment right now or we just finished with that?
>> CHAIR: Please go on.
>> SERBIA: Just a short expression, that broadcasting organization as it is defined in the proposal of the future Treaty, possible Treaty makes no — any kind of obscureness or who should be the beneficiaries of the Treaty. So broadcasting organization let’s take Serbian experience if you want to be a broadcasting organization you must get the license from the state and in order to get the license from the state to be a broadcasting organization you must fulfill some legal requirements from that position and that means that you are, for example, a physical person, you can’t be a broadcasting organization and that means that from the perspective of this definition it is the legal entity that fulfills some legal requirements and that can render the activities of the broadcasting in accordance with the law. In some places of the proposed text we stressed in several points let’s say like that the broadcast shall not be understood as including transmission of such — as a set of signals over the computer Networks. So the question is in order to clarify who are the beneficiaries sh who should be the beneficiaries of this Treaty maybe we can follow that logic and precisely says who are not the beneficiaries of this Treaty and I believe to some extent that the Web castors, for example, every physical person in this room by using the Microsoft media player can be a broadcaster just by using the technology that we got by buying the Microsoft software and that’s not intention of this Committee. What we need is to say is that only the legal entities that render the services of broadcasting are the beneficiaries of this Treaty. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
>> CHAIR: Thank you to the Distinguished Delegate from Serbia and I am glad you took the chance to develop your position regarding the issue of the beneficiaries. Because I think that it is very important to take in mind that clarity. I wouldn’t like to send the wrong message out of this room because some people get nervous or in some sectors of society it would try to go beyond what has been really discussed here with the different options we are facing. Thank you very much for that. And, of course, I keep on listening to your views regarding how to reflect what we could consider we have I would like to say achieve or at least preliminarily worked on during these days. And, of course, I’m — I will be also delighted to listen some additional comments regarding the latter point expressed by the Distinguished Delegate from Serbia. Iran has the floor.
>> ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. How to forward my Delegation believes that as my colleague from Romania said the text-based negotiation has not been — has not been taken place on the draft Treaty. So there is no Consensus on some key concepts. For example, objectives specific scope and also objective of protection of the proposed broadcasting Treaty. So my Delegation fully supports the proposal made by Delegation Distinguished Delegation of row mania on behalf of CEBS on text based negotiation. My Delegation supports to have a roadmap for expedite this exercise. But about deciding on Diplomatic Conference as I said there is not any common agreement on key issues and also we didn’t assert the exercise on text-based negotiations. So we believe that deciding on convening Diplomatic Conference in the next biennium before resolving the remaining divergent views before arriving at Consensus on key concepts is premature. So I can sum up my position, our position, that we could go along with roadmap but about Diplomatic Conference at this stage it is premature to talk about and decide about when we could have Diplomatic Conference on broadcasting Treaty. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
>> CHAIR: Thanks for your views Distinguished Delegate from Islamic Republic of Iran. USA has the floor.
>> UNITED STATES: Thank you, Mr. Chair. We, too, are pleased with the progress that has been made this week. We think that we have achieved greater clarity in the topics we are discussing, and that we’ve seen some greater convergence in a number of respects, including we are happy to see increased interest in the approach that’s been proposed by the United States.
We agree that moving to text-based work would be useful at this point to reflect what we have achieved and we would be happy for the Chair to take the lead in the drafting. We think this could provide the basis for further concrete work but an important caveat we think this is useful at this point only on the topics that we have been discussing substantively at this point in time. So that would be the subject matter or object of protection, the rights to be granted and at least some of the definitions. At the same time obviously while there may be some convergence beginning to appear in a number of countries’ positions no one has committed to anything yet and we need to leave options open in any text so that there is still room for negotiation. As to the other topics that we have not yet within the last few session has a substantive discussion of we need to put those on the agenda for the upcoming meetings so that we can see where people stand before the Chair, anyone else starts drafting text for negotiation. And then if we can over the next two meetings find acceptable text, not final text because there will still be brackets but acceptable text but then at that point we would be in a position to decide whether the text is sufficiently ripe for a Diplomatic Conference in the next biennium that could be successful where we could actually achieve an outcome. Thank you very much.
>> CHAIR: Thank you CHAIR: Thank you very much for your views and your specific suggestions for a roadmap as has been requested to have clarity by the previous speaker, previous Delegates. Of course, I think that that is — those specific suggestions will require some comments, further comments from you, from other Delegations. So you are very invited to express your views suggested roadmap.
>> EUROPEAN UNION: Thank you, Chairman. I would like to join these Delegations which expressed satisfaction with discussions that we have been having during this session. We are also very pleased with these discussions and with the exchange that we had here. We think that a clear progress was made especially we think on the — on understanding of our positions. I think that was the most important thing to understand where various Delegations stand and to what they mean when they refer to traditional broadcasting or provision or simulcasting and all of that. And I mean, of course, it is not a surprise that what seems to be emerging of what we discussed here does not fully match our expectations, as European Union and Member States and that’s why we will have to take it back to discuss with Member States and carefully review what has been discussed. In that regard, in that regard we think that it would be very useful to have those discussions that we have had during this session reflected in writing in text and in that regard we certainly support your proposal to reflect these discussions in the text as the Delegation of the United States emphasized agree these should be limited to these parts to these provisions that have been discussed during this session. As you mentioned Chair there are a number of provisions of the Treaty that we have not tackled yet. We have not tackled in our discussions here in the session and you mentioned, for example, term of protection, obligations concerning technological measures and these are for us some of these provisions that we have not discussed yet I want to emphasize equally crucial for the success of these negotiations as the ones that we have discussed today and therefore we are looking forward to having discussions on these issues.
As to future work beyond that what I already expressed we also support as the CEBS group already mentioned support a clear roadmap to continue our work towards the objective of holding a Diplomatic Conference in the next biennium. Thank you very much.
>> CHAIR: >> INDIA: My respective Chair as I am taking the froor for the first time for as member of permentant mission of India Geneva let me con great has as reflex to Chair and I would like to compliment you and your team forhandling this meeting with great clarity. Before moving for the text-based negotiations as expressed by Iran and U.S., should have greater clarification.
>> SOUTH AFRICA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. South Africa could also like to thank Romania for the proposal put forward on behalf of CEBS. We think it is a proposal that is worthy of merit. We believe that a clear roadmap would provide the opportunity to both clarify as well as consolidate views on the various substantive issues and discussion. We believe that text-based discussions are no doubt useful and bring us one step closer to our goal. Thank you.
>> JAPAN: Thank you, Mr. Chair. As for the future work we can agree to move on to the text-based negotiation. Thank you.
>> NIGERIA: Thank you, Mr. Chair. I want to join the respective speakers who have supported the position of the Delegation from Romania that has called for a text-based discussion and a clear work plan, I want to support that proposal and more importantly to also stress the need to give a concrete time frame and attach specific importance to specific areas to be achieved, specific targets to be achieved within that time frame and Mr. Chair, I also think for the areas that we are yet to make any appreciable movement we need to identify those areas and begin to strategically position them for common means of discussions so that in the near future we can begin to see a prospect of making concrete recommendations for Diplomatic Conference. Thank you.
>> CHAIR: Thank > KENYA: Thank you very much Mr. Chairman. The Delegation of Kenya would like to support our previous Delegations who have spoken. I think one of the things that we just want to add in addition to what the Delegation of Nigeria said and I think it has also been mentioned earlier is the issue of having all these area of convergence and probably come up with a document as U.S. had said we led by the draft document that can be led by the Chair and I think the coordinators and everything so that we can have something to submit in terms of the future work and how we can proceed from there since we are moving — we are hopefully moving towards the text-based discussions. Thank you.
>> SENEGAL: We support the position as expressed by Nigeria and Kenya. Thank you.
>> CHAIR: […]Well, if at this point there are no Delegations even though you are invited to ask for the floor and express your view let me use this time to trying to collect your different opinions regarding this issue.
It has been said that we have reached a point where in key or basic issues that have been mentioned as the scope of protection, the object of protection, the rights to be granted and the definitions we have shared some views, receive good ideas and not expressed in a very individual way. Some of them expressed in a way to try to allow us to try to accommodate other parties’ concerns regarding the issues. So I agree with some of the views that have been expressed that exercise has been useful. In order to continue that effort instead of keeping going around we could enter in to a new stage but for sure just for some areas that where — where this exercise has been done it would be premature to do that exercise for those areas and even have not been part of the discussion until now.
And they have not been part of the discussion until now because probably you agree with me that was also premature to do so because we needed some clarification on the basics of …
needed some clarification on the basics of the Treaty which were the provisions we have discussed. And after having your contributions which I am very thankful to all of you to collaborate, to reach understanding of the issues and understanding of where we have common grounds, where we have remaining differences or technical understanding I have received different views that is now arises the need to reflect that somehow in what is — what has been called text-based in order to concretize our rich exchange during the previous sessions and during the first half of this session.
And it has been said as well that this effort could cover only what has been discussed under this general terms and have benefit of this exchange. Not covering the remaining topics because that would be premature.
Simultaneously to undertake that effort this — this way to reflect what has been said probably deserves a text proposal made by the support of the Secretariat. Some them have mentioned the Chair. And I have to say that since I’m here to your service it’s a task that I will be happy to undertake if it is the Consensus on that.
Secondly the need of a clear roadmap has been expressed and it would be important to say that the roadmap means something concrete and not just going around one topic after 16 years. Secondly the need of a clear roadmap has been expressed and it would be important to say that the roadmap means something concrete and not just going around one topic after 16 years of discussion. That roadmap would probably as we are saying start with a discussion on how we could have reflected properly what we have discussed until now in the basics of this Treaty, meaning the scope of the Treaty, the rights and the definitions.
Then after that we can add to this concrete discussions which have been required by most of you to have an exchange on the remaining topics that have been expressed by some of you to be as important as the first ones. But even in that understanding I think that you agree with me that it was important to first start with the basics as we have done.
Third that in order to have a roadmap these discussions should led us to — to some result and that result I have heard when it is — when the need — listening to the Distinguished Delegate from Nigeria to have some concrete deadlines in order not to give this message that we are going to be around this topic for ten years more. This suggestion has to come I am sure from you and I have heard twice or three times the use of the term biennium. II have listened that part of time framework in order to work towards the convening of a Diplomatic Conference I have to say that there have been an agreement on — in previous General Assemblies on that and probably we have to face how could we reflect that as well after this exchange of views.
This is — those are my initial thoughts trying to accommodate your different views work towards the convening of a Diplomatic Conference I have to say that there have been an agreement on — in previous General Assemblies on that and probably we have to face how could we reflect that as well after this exchange of views.
This is — those are my initial thoughts trying to accommodate your different views on this matter. That is — that means that — it doesn’t mean or this reading does not mean that the issues are solved. It has been clarified by some Delegates, like the Distinguished Delegate from Iran that pending clarifications are still requiring some basic ideas and topics or that pending clarifications are required in, for example, the issue of the beneficiaries as has been posted by different Delegations. And it has been said that that means that what we could present to be used as a tool which will not be as sharp because we have passed that stage to text in a way that might reflect our discussion has been clarified that it doesn’t mean that that is the text. It means that we — it is open to receive further contributions or adjustments. But since the efforts — big efforts have been made by you I agree that I need to update and to show that reflect in a way that is useful for keep on working. That’s my view until this point. If you have any comments regarding what I have just said, please this is the time to do it.
Okay. I interpret your silence that I’m not doing wrong trying to read what has come out from the — from this room. And, of course, we have now to work on the details and I invite the regional coordinators and the regional groups to talk during this lunchtime which have programmed a meeting with me in order to see how we can reflect this agreeing I am doing of what has been said and expressed in this room. Let me just tell you that I really had a concern at the beginning of the session and I’m very thankful to all of you that I have seen commitment, contribution, some people even trying to think in other people or other Delegates concern on trying to build a Consensus upon that and that exercise have allowed us to considering as I have heard some of you that progress and understanding have been made which make it possible to go further. I thank you you very much for your effort made on this topic and I can just ask the Secretariat to give us some administrative messages before.