Negotiations on an international treaty updating the rights of broadcasters and cable distributors moved forward at a special session of the World Intellectual Property Organisation's (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), held 17-19 January 2007. SCCR is responsible for the negotiations, which aim to create "an international system of protection for broadcasters," without however questioning the rights of copyright holders or related rights, or the obligation of broadcasters to recognise those rights.

In the session the Committee agreed that a revised version of the Chair's informal proposals would be prepared by May 1, 2007, with the understanding that member states may submit suggestions to the Chair.

"This is a very promising development as member states have established a clear process to address this issue in accordance with the mandate received from the General Assembly and demonstrated political will to conclude the negotiations," said Mr. Michael Keplinger, WIPO Deputy Director General, who oversees WIPO's work in the copyright field.

The main objective of the treaty "is to serve as a stable legal framework for the activities of broadcasters against piracy, but it also provides protection against competitors and against unfair exploitation, and against free-riding," said the Chair of the SCCR, Jukka Liedes.aThe treaty thus aims to introduce "an international system for protection of broadcast organisations", without, however, challenging the rights of copyright or associated rights holders, nor the need for broadcast organisations to recognise these rights. These new provisions should ensure effective and uniform protection against the illegal use of broadcasts.

The second special session of the SCCR will be held in June 2007. The General Assembly also decided that a diplomatic conference would be held from November 19 to December 7, 2007. Objective: to conclude the treaty on the protection of broadcasting organizations, including cablecasting organizations, if agreement on new text was achieved during the special sessions.

The discussions are...

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