Friday, June 22, 2007

WIPO Broadcast Treaty Dead

Ian seems a mite pleased that the proposed WIPO broadcasting treaty appears to have bitten the dust at least for the time being.

"Jamie Love reported earlier this evening that WIPO is finally set to kill the Broadcasting Treaty. Now IPWatch has confirmed the last rites will be read tomorrow morning at the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights.

After a decade of negotiations, civil society and developing world WIPO members have finally managed to squash this assault on access to knowledge. Break open the Genevoise sparkling wine!"

I somehow doubt we've heard the last of it though. There are too many vested commercial interests in pursuing it to imagine it is completely and irretrievably dead.

Update from Jamie Love: "What is interesting is the role of Michael Keplinger, who was put in the top WIPO copyright job by the United States. Keplinger is pushing for Rome type rights, for broadcasters and webcasters. He is not following the current US government line, but his own pro-rights-for-investment views, which are contrary to US legal traditions.

An interesting question is this. Will the broadcasting industry be best served by rent-seeking related rights regimes, like those pushed by Keplinger, Jukka Liedes, the EC and Japan, or by the less regulated and more free platform that is emerging on the Internet? The tech sector sector seems to think the traditional broadcasters are short sighted, and are missing the strategies and platforms that create the most value. Can WIPO find a way to actually think about this sector in a new way? Maybe WIPO should start hiring a few people that are more geeky, and actually know something about the new information technologies. "

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