WIPO Treaty Decision Postponed Until Late 2008

Jun 24th, 2007 | By | Category: Citizen Media, Podcasting Law

WIPOFrom Dean Whitbread, Chairman of the UK Podcasters Association, comes this news of negotiations for the WIPO Broadcast Treaty:

“[I]n Geneva this week, so concerted has been the resistance to the much disliked WIPO Broadcast Treaty in its current form, with even the US delegation finding serious fault with it, that at several points today it looked like the entire treaty would be dropped.

“Today, at the last minute, the Chairman decided that so many countries had raised so many different objections, that a diplomatic convention on the Treaty is now to be scheduled in December 2008 – effectively kicking any resolution as far as possible into the long grass and giving time for the restructuring which is clearly necessary if ever consensus is to be reached.

“UKPA members and associates once again lobbied hard for this victory for common sense and podcasting.”

WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization, is an agency of the United Nations. Established in 1967, WIPO’s mission is to “promote the protection of IP throughout the world,” that is, responsible for treaties involving copyright, patent, and trademark laws.

Bloggers, podcasters, and other independent media have raised concerns over the proposed provisions of the international boradcast treaty, as it would give broadcasters, cablecasters, and potentially webcasters, broad new 50-year rights to control transmissions over the Internet, irrespective of the copyright status of the transmitted material [per Electronic Frontier Foundation].

Among objectors to the proposed broadcast treaty were over 1500 podcasters who signed an open letter to WIPO, via EFF, which delivered the letter earlier last week to the treaty discussions.

You can read more about the treaty here and here.

The treaty was to have been discussed (and perhaps decided) at a high-level international conference in the fall of this year, but has been postponed indefinitely, until the member states can agree on what the treaty is supposed to cover and actually do. The proposed treaty isn’t exactly dead, but it is off the “front burner.”

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