US Companies Say No To WIPO Broadcast Treaty

September 21, 2006 on 11:48 pm | In blog | Comments Off

In brief: post about the group of US corporations who are asking the US Government to reject the Broadcast Treaty.

The companies are:

Broadband Service Providers
Cingular Wireless
Computer and Communications Industry
Consumer Electronics Association
CTIA – The Wireless Association
Dell Inc.
Hewlett Packard Company
Home Recording Rights Coalition
Intel Corporation
Panasonic Corporation of North America
RadioShack Corporation
Sony Electronics Incorporated
TiVo Inc.
U.S. Internet Industry Association
Verizon Communications Inc.
Verizon Wireless

Lack of formatting to follow – I’m pasting this from email…

This afternoon a coalition of industry groups submitted the following
Request for US Government Opposition to Advancing a Diplomatic Treaty
Conference on the Proposed WIPO Treaty on the Protection of
Broadcasting Organizations From Certain Information Technology,
Consumer Electronics and Telecommunications Industry Representatives.

James M. Burger
Attorney at Law
Dow Lohnes
1200 New Hampshire Avenue, NW Suite 800 Washington, DC 20036-6802
T 202-776-2300
F 202-776-4300


On behalf of the undersigned companies and associations, many of whom
attended last week’s SCCR 15th session in Geneva, we would like to
express our concerns about the controversial decision to convene a
Diplomatic Conference on the proposed WIPO Treaty on the Protection
of Broadcasting Organizations which is proposed for mid-2007. We ask
that the US Government reach out to other country delegations and
express its objections to proceeding with a Diplomatic Conference at
this time.

The outcome of last week’s meeting leaves us with broad draft treaty
language which is not limited to signal theft, does not address
network intermediary liability, does not adequately address
limitations and exceptions, and includes broad technical protection
measure (TPM) protections language. In addition, the actual text of
proposed treaty language, which would form the basis of a diplomatic
conference, was, at the end of last week’s meeting, very much up in
the air.

During the last day of the 15th SCCR, the Chairman did promote a
different approach to developing a treaty. His approach appears to
provide a basic framework more consistent with both US law and the
undersigned companies’ interests. In addition, it is our view as
observers that there was growing support for such an approach on the
floor. Given the amount of disagreement regarding the SCCR 15/2 text,
and the strong support throughout these negotiations by most
delegations for protecting signals only, we do not believe that it is
appropriate to proceed to a Diplomatic Conference without doing so on
the basis of a text which clearly has consensus and is focused on
such an approach.

In discussions between industry and delegations, we detected shared
concerns regarding the state of the SCCR 15/2 text. We believe that
the US Delegation should engage in bilateral outreach to a number of
countries that expressed concern and seek support to: (1) reject
moving forward with a Diplomatic Conference until there is a stable
text; (2) narrow the treaty’s scope to signal theft; (3) narrow the
term of protection; (4) ensure limitations on network intermediary
liability; (5) ensure other appropriate limitations and exceptions,
such as excluding home and personal networks; and, (6) exclude TPMs
from the scope of the treaty.

We appreciated the opportunity to consult with the US Delegation and
we were disappointed that the initial objections they raised at the
meeting about proceeding with a Diplomatic Conference were ignored.
We therefore would encourage the USG to send a follow up letter to
the Director General of WIPO and other appropriate parties further
expressing its strong objections to authorizing a Diplomatic
Conference at the General Assembly.

Should there be a proposal to convene the SCCR again in early 2007 to
consider a redraft of the Draft Basic Proposal based on the
Chairman’s outline and associated comments, as well as the many
interventions of a similar nature by other delegations including the
USA at SCCR 15, such a draft text should be developed and broadly
circulated before such a meeting is held. No Diplomatic Conference
should be authorized until there is a real consensus text.

The role of WIPO in norm setting is extremely important to the
undersigned, all of whom are significant intellectual property
holders. Given the unstable condition of the current draft treaty,
there is a low probability of a successful Diplomatic Conference. The
damage to the institution of a failed Diplomatic Conference would
detract from international intellectual property norm setting – a
fate all of the undersigned wish to avoid.

We recognize that there is limited time to undertake outreach to
other country delegations; however, we believe this outreach is
critical. We stand ready to meet with the US Delegation at any time
to further express our concerns and lend our support.

Broadband Service Providers
Cingular Wireless
Computer and Communications Industry
Consumer Electronics Association
CTIA – The Wireless Association
Dell Inc.
Hewlett Packard Company
Home Recording Rights Coalition
Intel Corporation
Panasonic Corporation of North America
RadioShack Corporation
Sony Electronics Incorporated
TiVo Inc.
U.S. Internet Industry Association
Verizon Communications Inc.
Verizon Wireless

Manon Anne Ress,

Consumer Project on Technology
1621 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20009 USA
Tel.: +1.202.332.2670, Ext 16 Fax: +1.202.332.2673

Consumer Project on Technology
1 Route des Morillons, CP 2100, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 791 6727

Consumer Project on Technology
24 Highbury Crescent, London, N5 1RX, UK
Tel: +44(0)207 226 6663 ex 252 Fax: +44(0)207 354 0607

A2k mailing list


September 21, 2006 on 9:59 am | In blog | Comments Off

I was asked to explain the reasons why individual members of the UKPA need to pay £36.00 per year membership.

1 : Lobbying
The UKPA is a fledgling organisation with new podcasters requesting to join every day. We envisage that by Christmas our membership will represent at least half of the serious podcasters in the country. Our members will expect the UKPA to actively research, lobby and protest any new and draconian legislation that will be introduced by any governmental or official body that seeks to licence or impede the progress of this new communication. This will have financial implications as we will need to canvas membership and run a campaign office with administrative staff that will not always include volunteers.

2 : Credibility
Anyone can form a club, its easy, you get two or three people that do the same thing and say “lets form a club” – The UKPA represents and protects the interests of UK podcasters. Membership entitles you to use that when you are making your own headway in the podcasting community. It gives you credibility as a podcaster and proves that you are committed to the medium and will not just treat podcasting as a five minute wonder, producing one or two podcasts and then dropping it, as has happened in the blogging community, this will cloud the podcasting arena for genuine podcasters. The UKPA badge represents a sign of quality and gives gravitas to you as a podcaster.

3 : Association
As a group the UKPA can affiliate itself to larger and more established bodies that have a huge amount of clout in the new media arena. This way, by default, we have more muscle. Becoming members of quality organisations of course costs money and as we are a democratic organisation we will inform and request feedback from our membership as to what bodies we join.

4 : Community
Podcasting can be a solitary business as it is a fledgling medium. By becoming a member you become part of the ever increasing podcast “family” and can identify other family members through the display of the UKPA badge.The UKPA will be organising meetings, forums, seminars and conferences where members can meet, exchange ideas, find out about new innovations and discuss issues.

If any member would like to add reasons, argue against or make suggestions then please do not hesitate to comment on this blog, or email the UKPA at : members[at]ukpodcasters[dot]org[dot]uk

Thank you

Mark Crook

Treasurer, UK Podcasters Association

Pods and Blogs

September 18, 2006 on 10:12 am | In blog | Comments Off

Nice to see the trusty BBC taking an active interest.

Michael Geist on WIPO

September 15, 2006 on 5:37 am | In blog | Comments Off

Canadian Internet law professor Michael Geist on the Broadcast Treaty – BBC article.

Michael Geist’s blog.

WIPO Steamrolls Member States and Insists on Controversial Broadcast Treaty

September 14, 2006 on 1:01 pm | In blog | Comments Off

The Broadcast Treaty is on course to drastically affect the way the Internet works. If you enjoy this vibrant new culture of podcasts, blogs and shared media, take the time to follow some of the links, understand the issues, and most importantly, tell your friends.

September 11th – 13th in Geneva, Switzerland: WIPO (the World Intellectual Property Organisation – see below) attempts to finalise the new Broadcast Treaty, a project which has been going on for nine years. The Broadcast Treaty is intended to do things such as prevent signal theft., i.e. someone illegally taking your TV program and retransmitting it. Some WIPO members have been trying to ‘add in’ the Internet to the new Treaty, and at this late stage they have introduced podcasting to their legislation.

This is where the UK Podcasters Association comes in. UKPA has been campaigning for three months with the Irish and German podcast groups, the Open Rights group in the UK, and EFF in the United States, and representing thousands of concerned Internet users, EFF attorney Gwen Hinze presented a joint statement to WIPO on why podcasting should not be included in the Broadcast Treaty.

UKPA is part of an extraordinarily broad coalition against this version of the Treaty, alongside technology companies, NGOs, and member states such as India, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Iran, Nigeria and South Africa. Even the corporation-dominated United States eventually stated its opposition to calling for a diplomatic conference based on the existing draft – although for entirely different reasons than developing countries.

The main arguments against this extension of the Treaty into the Internet are that it gives new, wide-ranging and long-lasting rights to broadcasters over Internet content; it does not respect the Creative Commons system of content licencing which has been adapted by 49 countries and used for millions of works worldwide, including podcasts and blogs; and it threatens to impose severe restrictions on the development of technology and the personal use of media.

It also creates a whole set of problems for new technologies. Intel’s Global Policy Director Jeffrey Lawrence explained how the treaty will prevent the roll out of home networking technologies because permission will be required from broadcasting companies for consumers to access and use the cable and television programs that they have already paid for in their own homes. Verizon Vice-President Sarah Deutsch said that Internet service providers and other intermediaries also face significant legal liability under the treaty for transmitting programming. “A broadcaster’s right of control should stop at the front door of the home,” she said.

IP Justice Executive Director Robin Gross:

“It is already illegal to steal cable television under existing law in all countries. This proposal, however, will give broadcasting companies the power to control what consumers can do with those programs.

This creates a problem for a growing number of consumers who use technology to copy, edit, comment on, and re-use media in otherwise lawful ways. Internet bloggers and websites such as YouTube where people post snippets of media programming based on copyright law’s fair use privilege are also at risk. Since this is not copyright, but rather a brand new type of IP right, traditional fair use privileges would not apply to protect consumers. Television programs like Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show,” which uses short video clips of politician’s speeches and other news to provide political commentary on them, can also be prevented from re-using the footage if this treaty is passed.

One of the most dangerous provisions in the treaty is the proposal to grant broadcasters the right to lock up public domain programming using technological restrictions that it will then be illegal to bypass in order to access the public domain information.”

Despite lengthy objections, at the end of this three-day session, Chairman Liedes dismissed all arguments against the Treaty, and

“…dropped the gavel to conclude the meeting after announcing there would be no time for further discussion on the controversial treaty.

Rather than address legitimate concerns about theft of broadcast signals, the treaty would create 8 new intellectual property rights over broadcasts that are so broad they will stifle technological innovation, freedom of expression and access to knowledge.” (RG)

Despite this, we at UKPA and the other EU podcast groups take heart from the fact that we have come together with so many different and disparate bodies, groups and corporations agreeing to a cohesive position – this is a real achievement. The Broadcast Treaty is a direct threat to much of the culture we all share, and this has created exceptional unity.

UKPA is going to continue to lobby the UK Government to bring pressure on WIPO, via our elected representatives at national level, to challenge what we consider to be an autocratic and dangerous decision. What we share with many thousands worldwide is the view that podcasting is an important new medium which deserves proper consideration in any leglislative framework.

About WIPO

World Intellectual Property Organisation is one of the most powerful international bodies in the world. It controls the regulation of Intellectual Property – ideas – and it occupies a uniquely powerful position in important development areas such as patents and copyrights, and this impacts upon new technologies, media content, and transmission rights.

WIPO is composed of many parts: broadcasters, technology and internet companies, NGOs, public interest groups, and member nations. WIPO is a United Nations mandated organisation – its decisions pass into international law at the diplomatic level and are internationally binding. The organisation has been run by on man for over 10 years – Chairman Liedes of Finland, sometimes referred to as “chairman for life”.

The WIPO General Assembly will decide whether to accept Liedes’ recommendation at its annual meeting which takes place 25 September – 3 October 2006.

More Information on WIPO Broadcasting Treaty:

Electronic Frontier Foundation:

Open Rights Group:

IP Justice:

Chairman’s current draft proposal [SCCR/15/2]

Cory Doctorow on TWiT:

Creative Commons:


Fax Your MP:

WIPO Casting Treaty: CPTech Blog

September 13, 2006 on 9:28 am | In blog | Comments Off

Follow events as they unfurl…

Joint Statement of Podcasting Organizations and Podcasters on the Proposed Wipo Treaty for the Protection of Broadcasts and Broadcasting Organizations

September 11, 2006 on 11:29 am | In blog | Comments Off

Joint Statement of Podcasting Organizations and Podcasters on the Proposed Wipo Treaty for the Protection of Broadcasts and Broadcasting Organizations Presented to 15th Session of Wipo Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights

Sept 11-12, 2006

We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, representing the views of thousands of individuals who create audio and audiovisual podcasts and make them available on the Internet for others to listen to and enjoy, are extremely concerned about the draft World Intellectual Property Organization Treaty for the Protection of Broadcasts and Broadcasting Organizations (the Treaty) and its proposed extension to the Internet.

The rapid adoption of podcasting by groups and individuals, both commercial, semi-professional and non-profit, for political commentary, news reporting, music distribution, and other important information dissemination is testament to its effectiveness. The Treaty proposes to create new rights that are not only unnecessary to sustain novel forms of online communication such as podcasting, but will also inhibit their growth.

The Treaty will stifle innovation in podcasting-related technologies because the Treaty would require signatory countries to provide legal protection for technological protection measures (TPM) and is likely to lead to technology mandate laws controlling the design of broadcast-receiving devices. The Treaty will also inhibit online communication by impeding access to and non-infringing use of copyrighted content. At the same time, where podcasts are made available under a Creative Commons licence, the Treaty could allow subsequent casters to make podcasts available on more restrictive terms, overriding the wishes of the podcast creator.

We oppose the extension of the draft Treaty to the Internet for three reasons.

1. There is no need for the proposed new rights. Webcasting, podcasting, and myriad other forms of online distribution have flourished without the sort of rights this Treaty would grant. Though podcasting is only in its infancy, tens of thousands of podcasts are already being made available, reaching an estimated total audience in the millions. To the extent this Treaty would grant rights to podcasters who also stream their content, including many of the undersigned, we have no desire for such rights.

2. Innovation in podcasting and other new Internet distribution tools will suffer. Podcasting came about because of the widespread adoption of general purpose portable audio players like iPods, as well as use of web syndication technologies like RSS. Had these novel tools been hampered by the secondary liability concerns that the treaty’s overbroad intellectual property rights pose for technology developers and manufacturers of devices that could be used to infringe the new rights, podcasting might never have flourished. This Treaty would hinder innovation in future tools by forcing technology developers to obey government TPM mandates over device design. Along with increasing the potential financial costs for innovators, the TPM mandates will limit the types of features on new devices.

3. Extending the Treaty to the Internet will harm the flow of information and free speech online. Podcasters’ freedom of expression is likely to suffer as a result of reduced innovation. Moreover, the treaty will impede podcasters’ access to and non-infringing use of copyrighted content. Podcasters can currently rely on national copyright laws to lawfully include copyrighted materials in their programs, whether for news reporting, education, or other permitted uses. The proposed Treaty would undermine those uses by layering a new and overbroad set of rights on top of copyright. This will require a second layer of rights clearance for transmitted materials. This will increase transaction costs for podcasters, who already face significant hurdles in obtaining necessary copyright clearances due to undeveloped licensing markets. But it will also give broadcasters the ability to silence podcasters who depend on use of copyrighted materials.


United Kingdom Podcasters’ Association (UKPA)

Irish PodRepBod

German Podcastverband

U.S. Podcast Guild

Ev Williams Odeo, Inc., USA

Emmanuelle Bordes, Canada

Frederick Wells, USA

Andrew Hoehler, USA

Cory Doctorow, USA The Cory Doctorow Podcast

James Anthony Christian, United Kingdom The Posithink Podcast (

Jonathan M. Reiter, USA, Oregon Free Culture Movement.

Miles Metcalfe Head of IT Research and Development Ravensbourne College of Design & Communication Chislehurst, United Kingdom

Jon Berlin, USA

Melissa Gira, USA, ‘whorecast’

Matthew Wayne Selznick, USA MWS Media

Tomislav Medak, Croatia Multimedia Institute,

Brandon McGrody

Alan Wolf, Ph.D, USA

Patrick Buckley, USA

Douglas E. Welch, USA Career Opportunities Podcast

Kevin H. Devin In the Trenches podcast, Friends in Tech,

Jamie Nelson, USA The Didgeplanet Podcast

Kara Shallenberg;

Cheryl Oda

Chuck Tomasi

Steven Garrity

James L. Johnson Jr., USA

Mark Rafferty

Janne Jalkanen, Finland podcaster (“Saunan Takaa”, and “Verkkokakkonen”)

Martin McKeay, CISSP, CCNA The Network Security Podcast

James M. Van Verth The Vintage Gamer podcast,

Dennis R. Miller

Laura Ross

Wrong Notes Podcast, The Music Blog of the Ear Reverends HearJam Records

Stephen Okay, USA

Billy Bowers

Michael C Young, Canada

Ron Brinkmann Co-host VFXShow Podcast

Victor Cajiao Typical PC User Podcast, Typical Mac User Podcast, Immigration Tales Podcast,

Brian Vawter

Strange Company

Dennis Hays Secrets of Digital Imaging, Photo News Today, The Blues and Jazz Show,

The Command Line Podcast

Daniel Emery

William J. Beaty, USA

The Pixel Corps, Guild of Digital Content Creators, 2000 members in 35 countries Producers of “Macbreak”, “Macbreak Weekly”, “this WEEK in MEDIA”

Michael Croke

Samantha Murphy SMtv Podcast

Neal Foley The Podchef

Rick Kleffel Editor, The Agony Column Book Reviews, News, Interviews and Commentary

Christian Splie and Sheryl The Drunken Clam Girl
“Life On Tap” Podcast,

AudioLuxe, Inc, USA

James Raygan Kelly
Co-Producer Dollars: Dog of Privilege Podcast,

Carl Malamud, USA
Chief Technology Officer, Center for American Progress, Washington, D.C.
Founder of the Internet Multicasting Service, distributor of first audio programs on the Internet in 1993.

George Nemeth, USA
Managing Partner, Meet The Bloggers LLC
Meet The Bloggers podcast

Paul Parkinson
Podcaster and Editor of Podcast User Magazine

Hrvoje Mitic, Croatia

Jay King
Audio Lingo Podcast,

Anja Ivekovic-Martinis, Croatia

Howard Shepherd

Goran Pavlic, Croatia

Tobias D. Robison, USA

Peter Scheidl

David Bruce Hughes

Rick Jackson Publisher,

Howard Chang

Action for civil transparency (ACT)
Non-governmental organization, Croatia

Nenad Baric, Croatia
Confusion – association for promoting audio-visual arts

Robert Newson
Publisher of original Creative Commons-licensed music at (representing 50+ authors releasing audio versions of their books under Creative Commons license)

Lauren McLaughlin

Maggie Bonham
Host of the Sci Fi Traveling Road Show

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