Broadcasters Try to Steal More of the Public Domain, This Week at WIPO

Broadcasters Try to Steal More of the Public Domain, This Week at WIPO: “

Many of you will remember the broadcasting industry’s efforts to push a power-grabbing treaty through the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). If the broadcasters have their way, the treaty will:

  • Give broadcasters copyright privileges over material they did not create, but merely broadcast, including control over public domain material. They would get these powers for up to 50 years.
  • Make it illegal to circumvent technology locks that enforce broadcasters’ control over what users can do with broadcasts.

And if a small group of webcasters gets their way, they’ll get these powers too.

In the last session the pro-treaty forces were pushing to move to the final stages of negotiation, while the developing countries in opposition were trying to slow down the process to get rid of the most odious positions.

The round of negotiations this week is more of the same, except that now there are even more civil society NGOs in attendance and WIPO recently welcomed a “Development Agenda” that explicitly acknowledges the need for these treaties to promote access to the public domain, not inhibit it. On the other side, the webcasters are making an extra hard push, and there still isn’t a great deal of transparency and media coverage to keep the dogs at bay.

Stay tuned. Union for the Public Domain has two people here to make the arguments for the public domain, and we’ll be posting daily updates to the UPD site (, including detailed notes on everything that happens in the assembly hall. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact your country’s copyright office to urge them to take a stand against this treaty.

(For more details on the treaty, see:”

(Via Union for the Public Domain –.)


so…. if i were a registered broadcaster, and i rebroadcast c-span stuff in a unique format, it would then be mine? neat…… not really. this is a real butchering of copyright and ownership.