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WIPO members 'closer to agreement'
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net
(more articles from this author)
2002-11-17
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Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: Mi2N - November 15, 2002

Member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) say they've "inched closer" to agreement on the nature of the rights to be granted to broadcasting organizations in a multilateral treaty which would, if adopted, update international regulations, bringing them in line with the technological demands of the digital era.

The WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), which met in Geneva from November 4 to 8, 2002, was attended by delegates from 90 member states, including the European Community, 9 intergovernmental organizations and 45 non-governmental organizations and various other stakeholders representing broadcasting organizations and content industries, namely film and music.

Talks to update the intellectual property rights of broadcasters, currently handled under the 1961 Rome Convention on the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations, began in the 1990s but, "The advent of radically new types of communications and of content distribution over the Internet has made it necessary to review and upgrade existing international standards to ensure an appropriate balance between the different interests of all stakeholders and those of the general public," said a press release.

"While there is agreement on the need to upgrade these rights, differences still exist between member states on key issues. First, these relate to who should be the beneficiaries, namely whether only organizations which broadcast over the air are to be given better protection, or whether such protection should also be extended to cablecasters and certain categories of webcasters. Secondly, they relate to the rights to be granted to those beneficiaries, in particular, the right of fixation, the right of reproduction of fixations, the right of re-broadcasting, the right to decrypt encrypted broadcasts, and the right to rent fixations of broadcasts to the public."

Among several proposals considered by the Committee was one by the US to grant cablecasters (cable transmission) and webcasters (transmission over the Internet), "the same level of protection which is proposed to be afforded to traditional (i.e. over the air) broadcasters," the statement went on. "An earlier proposal, submitted by the European Community and its member states, includes protection of cablecasters, but not for webcasters. Member states will further examine the proposal at the SCCR's next meeting in June 2003.

Delegates also discussed, "A growing signal piracy problem, particularly of pre-broadcast signals, in many parts of the world has also generated a need to discuss the nature and scope of protection for broadcasts" and noted, "a list of issues for possible future review and action including: the responsibility of Internet service providers (ISPs), applicable law in respect of international infringements, voluntary copyright recordal systems, resale right or "droit de suite", the economics of copyright, collective management of copyright and related rights, protection of folklore, ownership of and authorization to use multimedia products and practical aspects of implementation of the WIPO "Internet Treaties."

Related News from Mi2N:
» Movement In Discussions On Protection For Broadcasting Organizations


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