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SCCR/39: COMMUNIA Statement on the Protection of Broadcasting Organizations

In our capacity of permanent observers of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), we are attending the 39th session of the Committee, which is taking place in Geneva from 21 to 25 October 2019.

The following is the statement made on behalf of COMMUNIA on the agenda item on the protection of broadcasting organizations (Agenda Item 7):

I’m speaking on behalf of COMMUNIA, an association that works to protect and defend the public domain and users’ rights.

We understand that the current proposal of the Broadcasting Treaty gives broadcasters perpetual rights over content that is not subject to copyright and content that is subject to non-exclusive free licenses, such as Creative Commons licenses. We find this extremely problematic for users.

In addition, the proposal for exceptions in the Chair’s text provides narrower exceptions to protect users than exist for copyrighted works. The draft text says countries “may” extend the same exceptions that exist for copyright, but, obviously, countries can choose not to do this.

This adds new international law restrictions on the adoption of limitations and exceptions for parties to the Rome Convention. This is also more restrictive than the Berne Convention, which has mandatory exceptions for news of the day and quotations, and permissive exceptions for educational and other uses.

The exceptions provisions in the Broadcasting Treaty are particularly important, and different from the issues covered in the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty and Beijing Treaty, because they could add a layer of rights clearance upon copyrighted content.

In order to avoid creating new obstacles to access to culture, knowledge and information, mandatory exceptions and limitations should be adopted. In addition, no rights should be placed on works that are in the public domain or that are openly licensed.

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