WIPO Treaty Threatens Podcasting Once Again

June 14, 2007 on 11:29 am | In blog, EFF, UKPA, WIPO | Comments Off

Less than one year ago WIPO promised to re-draft its Broadcasting treaty. Member States, mindful of the harm it could cause to citizen media, refused to grant new copyright-like rights to broadcasters and cablecasters. The new draft was issued in May, but contrary to WIPO’s promise – it offers similar exclusive control to big media but offers no protection for internet users.

Please help the cause by signing the petition – it takes virtually no time at all. Beyond that, please write to your MPs. This tactic was really effective in last year’s campaign, especially when you ask your MP to pass on your concerns to the relevant minister.

This campaign is led by the EFF’s excellent Gwen Hinze. She says

“The exceptions are far worse than this time last year – there’s no mention of podcasting, webcasting or netcasting, but broadcasters and cablecasters will get the right to control internet retransmission of anything broadcast or cablecast. Therefore, podcasters won’t receive any rights under the treaty (only traditional broadcasters and cablecasters will), but podcasters are likely to be detrimentally affected by the treaty for a number of reasons. Put simply, from podcasters’ point of view, we are in the same place we were last year, but there’s an even stronger push to try to get the treaty through. If the current treaty draft is accepted by WIPO Member Countries next week, it moves to the next treaty stage – an intergovernmental Diplomatic Conference now scheduled in November.

Since we were so successful at turning around this ship last year with the help of you and your fellow podcasters, we’d like to deliver the same message to WIPO next week: Don’t Break Citizen Broadcasting on the Internet! We have put together a Dear WIPO Petition and would like to ask for your help in getting the word out to podcasters and podcasting organizations to sign on.”

UKPA’s Dean Whitbread says,

“UK podcasts are among the best in the world, enjoying a huge international audience. As well as being a dynamic part of the new digital economy, Podcasting is an important social freedom which empowers citizens, breaks down existing barriers to technology, and adds great richness to our culture.

This inappropriate WIPO legislation is dangerous, and must not be allowed to pass into national law as it stands, or we risk seeing a vibrant industry saddled with restrictions and our individual rights handed wholesale to corporate broadcasters.”

Here’s the petition and more info: http://dearwipo.com/info

Gwen will be at WIPO to deliver it in person there next week.

Here’s the EFF’s background on the Broadcasting Treaty and why it is bad for the internet.

Here’s the latest treaty draft (the Chair’s “non-paper”): http://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/sccr/en/sccr_s2/sccr_s2_paper1.pdf

WRITE TO YOUR MP – remember to write the letter in your own words, explaining how much podcasting is valuable and why the Treaty is a serious threat to what we do. Ask your MP to bring this to the attention of Malcolm Wicks, MP, the UK Science Minister.

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