SCCR 33: Notes from KEI NGO statement on WIPO broadcast treaty negotiations, November 16, 2016

Today, after two and a half days of negotiations, mostly off the record in informals, NGOs were given a few minutes to make statements on the broadcasters treaty. We were asked to keep things short, and focus on discussions this week. These are the notes from our intervention.

Notes from KEI NGO statement on Broadcast treaty
November 16, 2016

Right to prohibit

On the topic of whether or not to create a right to prohibit, or a right to authorize works, we prefer the right to prohibit, or the negative right, over the positive right to authorize. A positive right to authorize may be significant when compulsory licenses or exemptions are used, and change remuneration rights, having a negative impact on copyright holders.

Avoid strong or expanded rights

In our opinion, every effort to give broadcasters “strong” or “expanded” rights in material they transmit, but do not own, beyond that absolutely related to addressing legitimate anti-piracy concerns, results in weaker and restricted rights for copyright holders, and makes users worse off.


If the SCCR is going to extend protections to material originated on the Internet, and downloaded on demand, as has been proposed by several countries this week, it opens the door to a much broader and consequential treaty, have impacts far beyond the putative purpose of protecting traditional broadcasts from signal piracy.

We have not heard any workable way to expand the treaty to material originated on the Internet and downloaded on demand, that stops this treaty from creating a massive expansion of related rights, that are contrary to the notion that we use copyright to determine the ownership of works.


To the extent that delegates go far in creating expansive rights in works for those who transmit works, you will need robust exceptions. This will make it more challenging to conclude the negotiations.

A more detailed statement will be submitted for the record of the SCCR 33 meeting.