42nd General Assembly
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Geneva ~ Switzerland
27 September 2006
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I speak on behalf IP Justice, an international civil liberties organization that promotes balanced intellectual property law.
IP Justice strongly recommends, that Member States decide against convening a Diplomatic Conference to draft a Broadcast Treaty. At the 15th Session of the SCCR several Member States made clear their objection against moving forward based on the draft proposal. The SCCR Chairmanâ€™s decision to convene a diplomatic conference is premature and lacks the consensus necessary for legitimate democratic law-making.
Again in this morningâ€™s session several Member States made clear their objections to rushing into a Diplomatic Conference. For example:
- The current draft proposal creates 8 new intellectual property rights for broadcast companies, instead of using a more appropriate â€œsignal theftâ€ approach to address unlawful conduct, as recommended by many Member States.
- The Chairmanâ€™s proposal continues to regulate Internet transmissions of programming in Articles 9 and 14, which significantly threatens bloggers, podcasters, and other innovative Internet users of programming.
- The proposal has not deleted the unpopular measures against the circumvention of technological restrictions â€“ even after the majority of Member States expressed concern about their impact on the public domain, and on artistsâ€™ and consumersâ€™ rights to use programming.
By no means are these issues only political questions. It remains unclear what implications a new IP rights for Broadcasters will have on developing countries or the public as a whole.
Too many outstanding questions should be answered before a Diplomatic Conference is convened.
Intellectual Property Rights can foster economic and social development, but only if they maintain a balance between the rights of creators and users — and only if they take into consideration the special needs of developing countries. The Broadcast Treaty in its current form will not help to reach these aims.
Rather, WIPO should focus is limited energy on adopting a Development Agenda and a Treaty on Access to Knowledge. Also an examination of the appropriate limitations and exceptions to copyright, as proposed by Chile in 2005, should be under-taken to ensure WIPOâ€™s work is in line with the global public interest.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.