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in Filmmaking
on May 3, 2006

I haven’t really been following this, but this this news from the Electronic Frontier Foundation seems disturbing:

The U.N. World Intellectual Property Organization’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights Committee meets this week to discuss the latest redraft of the contentious new Broadcasting Treaty. The treaty would give broadcasters, cablecasters, and potentially webcasters, broad new 50 year rights to control transmissions over the Internet, irrespective of the copyright status of the transmitted material. It also requires countries to provide legal protection for broadcaster technological protection measures that will require Broadcast Flag-like technology mandates.

As we’ve noted elsewhere, EFF believes that these new rights will stifle innovation, create a new layer of liability for Internet intermediaries, impair consumers’ existing rights, restrict the public’s access to knowledge and culture, and change the nature of the Internet as a communication medium. Many of these concerns could be addressed by limiting the scope of the treaty to its intended purpose — signal theft. Unfortunately the new draft doesn’t remove any of our concerns, but only deepens them.

The link is via Boing Boing, where Cory Doctorow ledes like this:

The UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization has reconvened to discuss a treaty that will kill innovative Internet audio/video offerings — like podcasting, YouTube, Google Video, and Democracy Player — in order to protect the business models of a few entrenched broadcasters. This is the Broadcast Treaty, and the process — never pretty — got uglier than ever today.

The Chairman of this treaty committee has colluded with the US to expand this treaty to cover the Web, and to be sure that it contains a clause that will give DRM even more mandatory protection than it enjoys today. As the committee reconvened today, the Chairman revealed that he’d gone even further in giving the US what it wants, at the expense of the will of the rest of the world, particularly developing nations like Brazil.

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