Feeds

WIPO broadcast treaty defeated by web activists

Copyright add-on fails to find consensus

High performance access to file storage

A controversial new intellectual property right due to be created by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has been successfully opposed by a coalition of web activists and the technology industry.

WIPO has spent nearly 10 years gathering international agreement over a new deal for broadcasters which would give them intellectual property rights over broadcasts which would exist in addition to existing copyright laws.

But a campaign spearheaded by activist groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and involving thousands of podcasters and bloggers, joined with technology industry giants such as Intel and defeated the move last week.

The Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCRR) of WIPO met last week to finalise a recommendation that the new proposal go to a special conference for ratification by WIPO as a whole.

At the end of the meeting, though, there was not enough agreement between member nations about the proposal and the committee recommended that the proposal not be forwarded to a diplomatic conference for adoption.

Gwen Hinze is the international affairs director for the EFF. She told weekly technology law podcast OUT-LAW Radio about the opposition to the plans.

"If you create a new layer of rights that sit on top of copyright from a consumer's point of view that raises questions about access to information, so information that might otherwise be in the public domain as a matter of copyright law, the exceptions and limitations wouldn't apply and that raises some concerns about access to knowledge," said Hinze.

Podcasters were worried that the new right would affect material they produced and their ability to disseminate it on their own terms. One and a half thousand of them signed an EFF open letter to WIPO protesting against the move.

Consumer electronics companies also protested because the plan contained technological protection measures which they feared could give broadcasters control over television recording equipment, such as TiVO boxes.

WIPO wanted the new rule to replace the Rome Convention of 1961, which it says is out of date and does not cover cable televisions services.

The SCCRR had tried last autumn to have the rule proceed straight to diplomatic conference for ratification, but the General Assembly said that two more meetings were needed to hammer out international consensus on the move.

Opponents agree that television signal piracy is a problem that must be solved, but say that it can be solved with a 'signals based approach' rather than by creating an entire new intellectual property right.

"There is quite a significant body of people who have joined together and would back a signal based approach to a treaty," said Hinze. "So, for instance, in January there was a joint statement from a number of civil society groups, a number of tech companies and a number of library groups all in support of a signal based approach, giving broadcasters protection for their signals but not creating an exclusive rights approach that would have the unintended consequences that I have raised."

See: OUT-LAW Radio

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.