[Fsfe-ie] WIPO copyright committee meeting update

teresahackett at eircom.net teresahackett at eircom.net
Fri Jun 18 23:41:10 CEST 2004

Here's a short update on the recent WIPO meeting.

To get a flavour of the discussions, the Union for the Public Domain and EFF have produced a transcript at:

The committee documents are at:

The Civil Society Coalition included representatives from EFF, IP Justice, CPTech, EDRi and we all made interventions.

The WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright & Related Rights (SCCRR) met in Geneva 7-9 June. The main issues were non-original databases and the draft broadcasting Treaty.
Ireland was represented by Tony McGrath, IP Unit, ENTEMP.

Since the 1996 EC database Directive, the EC delegation have been pushing for an international database Treaty, largely resisted by the US. The committee had agreed to keep non-original database protection on the agenda and to discuss at appropriate intervals. At this meeting, the US were more non-committal and reported on two bills on database protection (DB And Collections of Info Misapprop Act and Consumer Acess To DBs). Despite a general lack of enthusiasm amongst delegates, it was agreed to maintain this position. So the wait-and-see approach was maintained.

The main task was to decide whether to recommend to the WIPO General Assembly to convene a diplomatic conference to negotiate a Treaty for the protection of broadcast organisations. There was disagreement on key points in the draft text and the committee made a very watered down suggestion for the General Assembly to convene a *possible* diplomatic conference at some point in the future.
In its present form, the draft Treaty would give broadcasters a new exclusive right for 50 years over broadcast *content* with rights to reproduce, distribute, etc. NGOs, including some rightholder organisations, want to limit this to protecting the signal, the original purpose of the treaty. 
Some concerns include:
*Treaty should be signal-centric
*new broadcast rights should not restrict the public domain, esp as Art 16 gives legally protects TPMs regardless of the status of the material
*there is no rationale for 50 yr term of protection (20yrs in TRIPS)
*webcasting should not come within the scope - it's not defined and not clear what it includes - the only national delegation to call for this was the US.


Surf for free all summer long with eircom broadband.*
Order Now: http://home.eircom.net/broadbandoffer

More information about the FSFE-IE mailing list