WIPO SCCR 43: Notes from Day 2

Rights of broadcasters
Iran wanted clarifications about whether the rights granted to broadcasters under the treaty would be a negative right (right to prohibit) or a positive right (right to authorise). Iran also highlighted that there was a need to clarify definitions in the treaty, particularly with respect to user generated contents shared on websites such as Youtube, in comparison with traditional broadcasters.

The Chair clarified that the treaty provides two sets of rights, positive rights under Article 6 and 7 and negative rights under Article  8 and 9. The Chair also clarified that the treaty aimed to bridge the various  legal frameworks, based on copyright, under a rights based approach and a signal based approach. In the signal based approach, the positive right under Article 6 is based to protect only live signal and the protection ends at the point of fixation, hence there is no relation between the right of fixation Article 7 and the right to prohibit transmission and deferred transmission under article 8. The Chair further clarified that the positive right ends at fixation after which the right to prohibit comes into play. With respect to User Generated Content the Chair clarified that the current draft of the treaty focused protection to traditional broadcasters and not other service providers.

Terms of the Right The USA highlighted their concern over the possible perpetual term of fixation rights and requested that a revised text could have some explicit time limit. Singapore echoed USA’s concern over the absence of limitations on the duration of the rights of the broadcasters which could give broadcasters perpetual protection of a programme. Similarly Pakistan questioned the need for a right of fixation highlighting that piracy was an enforcement issue. With respect to the term of protection the Chair clarified that the treaty sought to provide  practical protection to broadcasters of their live signal, and not the content of the broadcast. Further clarifying that one of  the main aims of the treaty was the protection of simultaneous retransmission, and to provide protection in case there was a fixation of the signals.

Limitations and Exceptions
Iran and Brazil highlighted issues about limitations and exceptions. While Iran stated that the inclusion of the three step test in the treaty would water down the limitations and exceptions provisions, Brazil highlighted that the Article 11 of the treaty did not follow the text of the Marakesh convention or the  Beijing treaty regarding Limitations and Exceptions. Brazil highlighted that there was a need to clarify in the text of the treaty itself that the list provided under the Article is illustrative and not exhaustive. In addition to this they stated that the text of the treaty should also establish the presumption that all the examples listed have already fulfilled the three steps. Brazil also highlighted the question about the consequence of the proposal on works in the public domain that are not sufficiently clear. The draft should ensure that public domain content when broadcasted should not receive another layer of protection.

Communia, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) and Innovarte also highlighted issues that might come up with broadcasting works that are in the public domain. Communia provided examples where the broadcasters might have the only good copy of historic events and reporting that have now become a part of the public domain, however the broadcasters could reappropriate these which are in the public domain with new exclusive rights through this treaty. Communia hence suggested a need for exclusion of public domain works in the treaty.  Innovarte highlighted Article 6 of the Berne convention which allows for exceptions related to public interest such as use of excerpts.

Agenda Item 6 and 7 - Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives, for Educational and Research Institutions and for Persons with Other disabilities

Working towards a binding international L&E instrument
The beginning of the discussion on Limitations and Exceptions began with the CEBS Group, Group B, the European Union and the USA emphasising  on the need to look at other avenues to implement L and E without going for a legally binding international instrument. Some of the solutions provided included strengthening existing national legislations, existing solutions within the framework of the existing international treaties, exchange of best practices, and capacity building for countries to implement L&E’s in their national legislations.

Ghana on behalf of the African Group stated that there was a need to provide mutual benefit between those who generate and those who use creative works. Ghana also highlighted the issues with cross border access and sharing of copyrighted materials which is becoming increasingly difficult for libraries, archives, museums and research institutions to access. Ghana highlighted the need for a strong support in development of a legal instrument on Limitations and Exceptions, for libraries, archives, museums and for persons with disabilities other than blindness. South Africa in their statement also highlighted the benefit L&E’s would provide to both creators and users, and the cross border transfer of data. And  extended their support to the statement of Ghana and work towards an international instrument whether model law, joint recommendation or a treaty.