WIPO SCCR 40 (hybrid session): Oral statement of Knowledge Ecology International on agenda item 5: Protection of broadcasting organizations

17 November 2020

Oral statement of Knowledge Ecology International – agenda item 5 – Protection of broadcasting organizations.

New measures to address signal theft are one thing. But durable post-fixation rights to entities that just retransmit works by authors, performers and producers, is a bad idea.

Post fixation rights are controversial because they create thickets of related rights that make it more costly and difficult to clear, lead to perpetual protection if assigned at the time of each broadcast, and create a massive expansion of rights to non-creative entities, if extended to webcasting.

The biggest beneficiaries will be Pandora, Netflix, Amazon, Spotify, and other giant technology firms. The proposed treaty would extend to services like Tik Tok, Youtube and Facebook.

None of these rapidly growing technology platforms are asking for or need the proposed related right.


Thiru Balasubramaniam is the Geneva Representative of Knowledge Ecology International. Prior to his post as KEI’s Geneva Representative, Mr. Balasubramaniam worked at Health Action International in Colombo and at the World Health Organization in Geneva as a technical officer in the Department of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy dealing with access to medicines and intellectual property. He began his career with CPTech working on issues related to health care and intellectual property. Mr. Balasubramaniam holds a B.A. in Economics and a Minor in European History from the University of Pennsylvania.