According to observers and civil society NGO participants, the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights will not recommend a Diplomatic Conference on the proposed WIPO Broadcasting Treaty. In non-WIPO-ese, that means broadcasters won’t get the unjustified grant of copyright-plus rights they’ve been asking for. Instead, they’ll still have copyright protection for their programs, while the public will get its fair use without an extra layer of exclusion.
World Intellectual Property Organization negotiations for a treaty on rights for broadcasters broke down at the eleventh hour, according to participating government officials. A high-level final treaty negotiation scheduled for November will not take place, they said.
The SCCR, which does its work through “non-papers” and meetings in Geneva, has been pushing for a broadcasting treaty for nearly a decade. It was nearing its conclusion, sending the draft on to a Diplomatic Conference to be adopted as an international treaty, when delegates apparently finally recognized they could not reach consensus. The latest draft would have added DRM-protection, anti-circumvention, and new exclusive rights to broadcasts, threatening innovations like TiVo and SlingBox. While the United States was at most stages willing to sell out its innovators, even pushing at times for grant of new “webcasting” exclusive rights, Brazil, India, and the Africa Group took the lead in rejecting a new treaty if it lacked public rights and exceptions to balance those granted to broadcasters.
Update: Not dead yet? Jamie Love reports the “surreal” draft conclusions of the Chair, that a Diplomatic Conference should be held in 2008.