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22 June 2007 from Geneva
Today member states of WIPO decided that there will be neither a diplomatic conference on the proposed Broadcast Treaty, nor any more Special Sessions of the Standing Committee on Copyrights and Related Rights (SCCR).
Till the end the Chair Yukka Liedes and the WIPO Secretariat intensely tried to keep the process on a way, at last by proposing that member states may propose to the General Assembly to decide to hold two more Special Sessions of the SCCR and to postpone the Diplomatic Conference to 2008. Finally member states disagreed in all this points. No more Special Sessions will be asked for, no new time frame for a Diplomatic Conference was set and the Broadcast Treaty will only remain on the regular agenda of the SCCR. At the end India also said that there are many more very important points to discuss at the SCCR. So the Broadcast Treaty most likely will be only one of several other agenda items of the SCCR. Decision of SCCR Special 2: Changes compared to the Chair’s draft. The last decision on this will be taken by the General Assembly this year but it is very unlikely that there will be any surprise there.
That the Diplomatic Conference will be called off for this year already was clear after a informal night session when several member states proposed to call off the conference after seeing not any progress in respect of finding a consensus on a new draft proposal.
By their decision the member states ended a over nine years process which was becoming more and more a dead end. It’s a real good day for Internet-Users, Podcasters, consumers in general and in developing countries in particular. The new treaty has threaten to regulate Internet transmissions of broadcasts, to give exclusive rights for non-creative works and to protect broadcasters TPMs which has threaten not only to impose Technology Mandates but also to hinder consumers in making fair uses of broadcasts.
In my view this decision could have been taken a long time before but it ends when it ends and the only thing what is important is that it is a good end for all of us and not only for a particular group of commercial actors.
~ Posted by Petra Buhr, IP Justice Global Policy Fellow