Proposal for a WIPO Broadcast Treaty
Should Broadcasting Companies be Granted New Intellectual Property Rights Over Signals Transmitting Information?
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Broadcast Treaty Proposal
"The Broadcast Treaty is Dead: Long Live the Broadcast Treaty"
After nine years in the making, the 2007 WIPO General Assembly voted to NOT convene a Diplomatic Conference that would create a world-wide treaty to give broadcasting companies unprecedented rights over information. The General Assembly re-affirmed the recommendation of the WIPO Copyright Committee (SCCR) in June 2007 to cut-short the proposed Broadcast Treaty. IP Justice, together with a broad range of public interest groups and tech-industry companies fought against the proposed WIPO Broadcast Treaty since it would have threatened freedom of expression and innovation.
- IP Justice Report from the June 2007 WIPO Copyright Committee on decision to shelf Broadcast Treaty at WIPO
But despite the decision at WIPO in 2007 to kill the treaty, the broadcast industry has moved its effort to pass the Broadcast Treaty to a new forum: the Council of Europe. This makes sense since the European broadcast industry was the only proponent for the treaty among WIPO Member States after the US lost its bid to include Webcasting within the treaty in 2006. Read these reports from the European Digital Rights Initiative (EDRi) and IP-Watch and the Council of Europe on CoE’s resuscitation of the Broadcast Treaty.
Background on WIPO Broadcast Treaty
Trans-national broadcasting companies have called for “updating” the 1961 Rome Convention and proposed a new international instrument that would create copyright-type rights for broadcasting companies over the broadcast signals transmitting information. The proposal for a "Broadcast Treaty" threatened to chill freedom of expression, stifle innovation and give traditional broadcasting companies an unfair advantage over artists, innovators, and consumers on the Internet. The United States continues to push for regulation of webcasting and additional penalties when consumers bypass digital restrictions placed on information by broadcast companies.
Key Documents on the WIPO Broadcast Treaty:
- 2007 WIPO General Assembly Decision on Broadcast Treaty
- 2007 WIPO SCCR Special Session 2 Decision (June 2007)
- Notes from the 2007 WIPO General Assembly on the Broadcast Treaty Discussions
- June 2007 WIPO SCCR on Broadcast Treaty Talks Stalled
- Joint NGO Statement to WIPO Member States to Reject Broadcast Treaty (June 2007)
- Diverse Coalition of Public-Interest and Tech Industry Urge US Govt to Reject WIPO Broadcast Treaty (May 2007)
- IP Justice Report on 2006 General Assembly Decision on Broadcast Treaty
- IP Justice Report from WIPO’s 15th SCCR Session in Sept. 2006
- IP-Watch "Inside View" with Robin Gross: "WIPO Broadcast Treaty Contains Unsupported Webcasting and Digital Locks" (May 2006)
- IP Justice Document Archive on WIPO Broadcast Treaty
Other Reports on the WIPO Broadcasting Treaty: