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29th Session of the WIPO SCCR: CIS Intervention on the Proposed Treaty for the Protection of Broadcasting Organizations

The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) made its intervention on the proposed treaty in the ongoing WIPO session on December 9, 2014.

Nehaa Chaudhari on behalf of CIS made the following statement:

Thank you, Mister Chair.

This intervention will be based on the chart detailing the ‘Concepts’ corresponding to the Definitions. We believe that certain elements of these concepts are inconsistent with a broadcast treaty based on a signals based approach; and over the course of the next few minutes, I will briefly discuss these.

First, Mr. Chair in the first column- on broadcasting or cablecasting organizations (in the traditional sense); where communication of the signal has been listed under scope of responsibility. Mr. Chair, ‘communication’ itself is an element of copyright and is distinct from broadcast rights that are related rights. A signal, Mr. Chair, may be broadcast or transmitted. Accordingly, Mr. Chair under the element of Scope of Responsibility, we are of the opinion that it should read Broadcast or Transmission of the signal and not communication of the signal; and the focus should not be at regulating communication to the public.

Second, Mr. Chair, in the second column- on broadcasting and cablecasting transmission- we have three observations. First- under the means of transmission, we believe that transmission over computer networks encompasses IP based transmissions, and should be excluded, in order for the treaty to remain consistent with a signals based approach. Second- on the reception of the broadcast or cablecast transmission, we believe that it should be qualified using the phrase ‘general public’. We are of the opinion that there is a danger that a limited public (say family members) could possibly be covered by the term “public”, but would be excluded from “general public”; which in any case is the targeted audience of a broadcast. Third, Mr. Chair, on whether the transmission would be encrypted or not- which also flows into the third column on the Signal- and whether it is encrypted or not; which then also relates to whether broadcasting organizations will have the right to prevent unauthorized decryption. Mr. Chair, we don’t think that there should be a separate right to prevent unauthorized decryption. Given that signal theft is already a crime, having a specific right to prevent unauthorized decryption might result in an absurdity, where it could even cover decrypting an unauthorized retransmission without authorization from the retransmitter.

This provision might result in an absurdity, where it would cover decrypting an unauthroised retransmission without authorization from the retransmitter, where the retransmission in the first instance was illegal to begin with.

Finally, Mr. Chair, on the third column and the meaning of signal- we submit that our preferred definition would be where the definition of a signal is confined, and it understood as an electronically generated carrier transmitting a broadcast or cablecast and NOT one which has the capability of such a transmission, as stated in the third column in your Chart on concepts.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

 

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