The Trouble with the WIPO Broadcast Treaty

KEI has shared this analysis of the WIPO negotiations on a broadcasting treaty with negotiators.


Brief update 1:

The WIPO negotiations on a broadcasting treaty began in 1997. This week, the broadcasters hope to finally get an SCCR node for a diplomatic conference. The week begins with a draft treaty text with NO brackets, prepared by the SCCR Chair in cooperation with the SCCR Vice-Chairs and facilitators. Jukka Liedes seems to be the lead on this draft.

The Meeting docs here:

There are lots of things in the proposal worth reviewing, but the reason it might go forward is Article 10(1), which states:

(1) Any Contracting Party may apply the provisions of Articles 6, 7, 8 or 9, or all of them, only to certain retransmissions or transmissions, or limit their application in some other way, provided that the Contracting Party affords other adequate and effective protection to broadcasting organizations, through a combination of the rights provided for in Articles 6 to 9 and copyright or other rights or other legal means.

The biggest problem with the draft are Article 7 and 8, which read:


    Article 7
    Right of Fixation
    Broadcasting organizations shall enjoy the exclusive right of authorizing the fixation of their programme-carrying signals.

    Article 8
    Deferred Transmission of Stored Programmes
    Broadcasting organizations shall enjoy a right to prohibit the unauthorized acts referred to in Articles 6 and 7 in respect of the deferred transmission to the public by any means of the programme-carrying signal used when they provide access to the public to their stored programmes, including providing access to the stored programmes in such a way that members of the public may access them from a place and at a time individually chosen by them.


With no term, these are perpetual rights that the streamer gets, without creating, owning, licensing or paying for content, and even if the content is in the public domain or subject to a creative commons license.

I have a deep dive on the negotiations here:

In recent years, the Internet streaming and tech industry stopped showing up for these negotiations, but they will be here this week, hosting a side event on Thursday.

Thursday, March 16, 2023, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Place: New Building, NB0.107
Title: Streaming Forward: Introduction to Leading Audio Streaming
Sponsor: Digital Media Association (DiMA)

Here are the members of the DiMA.

  • Amazon
  • Google
  • Apple
  • Pandora
  • Spotify