WIPO members 'closer to agreement'
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."
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