TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: U.N. Broadcasting Treaty Talks Suffer Setback

U.N. Broadcasting Treaty Talks Suffer Setback

Reuters News Wire (
Mon, 25 Jun 2007 11:20:03 -0500

Efforts to clinch a long-sought international broadcasting treaty have
suffered a setback from lingering disagreements over signal piracy and
the Internet, a top U.N. official said on Monday.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) had planned to
wrap up decade-long negotiations over the pact at a diplomatic
conference at the end of 2007.

But divisions over signal piracy and the re-transmission of broadcasts
over the Internet marred a preparatory session in Geneva last week,
causing the U.N. agency to further extend the talks that started in
some form in 1997.

"It is going to be a while before we return to convene a diplomatic
conference," WIPO Deputy Director-General Michael Keplinger told
Reuters in a telephone interview.

He said WIPO's general assembly would discuss a new schedule for the
talks in September or October.

The new treaty would give more copyright and intellectual property
safeguards for broadcasters, adding to the rights in the 1961 Rome
Convention on the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms
and Broadcasting Organizations, which predates much of modern
television technology.

In a statement, the United States delegation to the talks said
negotiators remained "far apart" on fundamental issues related to the
new treaty, including the nature and extent of protections needed.

Parties to the negotiations have already agreed to exclude Webcasting
from the intended pact.

Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited.

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[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: There seems to be some misunderstanding,
IMO, over the meaning and nature of 'broadcasting'. Broadcasting, by
its nature, is supposed to be for _everyone_ (who wishes to do so) to
listen to. How can there be 'piracy' of a broadcasting signal? I
guess I am just curious on this point. There are radio signals which
no one, except for its sender and recipient are supposed to overhear
or retransmit. 'Broadcasts' are not one of these classes. PAT]

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