Sunday, June 18, 2006

WIPO Podcast Petition

Wouldn't normally get political on a Sunday with Brazil playing Australia, but here is a petition which aims to prevent broadcasters taking over podcasters' rights.

Podcasting is now more established, but legislation is still in its infancy. With 300+ UK podcasters producing thousands of hours of original content each week, in March we formed the UK Podcasters Association to represent our interests and protect our rights.

The United Nations' World Intellectual Property Organization has called a last-minute meeting on June 21 in Barcelona, out of the normal diplomatic venues to try to push through the Broadcasting Treaty. This treaty gives broadcasters (not creators or copyright holders) the right to tie up the use of audiovisual material for 50 years after broadcasting it, even if the programs are in the public domain, Creative Commons licensed, or not copyrightable.

The Barcelona meeting brings together lots of Latin American broadcasters - who no doubt love the idea of a new monopoly right that they get for free merely for broadcasting a work. Bringing these broadcasters in is a way of undermining the effective opposition to the treaty that has come from countries like Brazil and Chile. This meeting is especially deadly, because it looks like they're trying to sneak podcasting back into the treaty, after agreeing to take it out at the last big meeting in Geneva.

The most important issues for us here are:

- Broadcaster copyright cannot overrule podcast copyright or other licence

- Podcasting is not broadcasting and the two must not be conflated (forced together)

- The wishes of the creator regarding their rights in their work must be respected

- Creative Commons licences, GPU licences, "free forever" licences (in whatever form) are legitimate and must be upheld in perpetuity.

Here's the EFF take on the Broadcasting Treaty:

With the Irish and the German podcast groups, we have set up a petition here which we will be presenting to WIPO in Barcalona this Wednesday, June 21st.

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