Pretty Much Everyone Who's Not A Broadcaster Comes Out Against Broadcast Treaty

from the make-it-go-away dept

Last week, we wrote about the return of the Broadcast Treaty, a ridiculous and unnecessary treaty being debated (for the nth time) at WIPO, which would allow broadcasters to claim rights as middlemen, over things they have no claim to, including public domain works, just for broadcasting them. That story got a lot of attention this past weekend (thank you Slashdot, Reddit and Instapundit, who all mentioned our story). It even got Mythbusters' Adam Savage to weigh in and declare that he hated the idea. He's not alone.

While WIPO and the Broadcast Treaty supporters continue to pretend that there's broad support for such a treaty, reality says otherwise. A rather broad coalition of organizations that would be severely impacted by this have come out against the Broadcast Treaty. You can see the full document below, but among those who signed on are the American Television Alliance, the American Cable Association, Creative Commons, the Consumer Electronics Association, the Computer and Communications Industry Association, CTIA, EFF, Public Knowledge, TiVo, the Library Copyright Alliance and even Time Warner Cable (among many others). Basically, anyone and everyone who is not a broadcaster is against this. So why is it even on the table again?


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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2011 @ 3:44pm

    Why it's on the table

    Because the broadcasters pushing this are corrupt bastards.

     

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      TheStupidOne, Jun 27th, 2011 @ 4:03pm

      Re: Why it's on the table

      The broadcasters are doing what they are supposed to do, trying to make more money. The politicians actually doing more than laughing at them for even suggesting this are the corrupt bastards

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2011 @ 4:35pm

        Re: Re: Why it's on the table

        Sure they are supposed to make money.... but in ways that don't involve corrupt bastards.

         

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    monkyyy, Jun 27th, 2011 @ 4:12pm

    so if a leaked version of a movie gets out on the pirate bay before out, do they get to claim the rights to it?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2011 @ 4:56pm

      Re:

      I don't think broadcasting works on the internet?

       

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        Hephaestus (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 12:36am

        Re: Re:

        So set up a small 5 watt tv station. Then feel free to post the torrent right after you re-broadcast it. ... yeah I know public domain works. Cool thought though.

         

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          Jeff Rife, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 9:49am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The wording of the treaty might allow broadcasters to claim rights to more than just public domain works.

          It appears that if the broadcaster has the right to broadcast the material in the first place (through either license or the work being in the public domain), then the broadcaster would then be able to claim copyright on what they broadcast.

          If it does work this way, then the MPAA and RIAA should be very much against this treaty.

           

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            Jeff Rife, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 9:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Having read the wording of the treaty draft, it does work as I said, and public domain does not enter into the issue at all:
            Broadcasting organizations shall enjoy the exclusive right of authorizing the retransmission of their broadcasts, and the deferred transmission by any means to the public of their fixed broadcasts.
            This is the entire statement about the matter in the treaty (everything else is boilerplate), and there is no mention of the copyright holder of the original material.

            I can also see why TiVo is against this, as it effectively outlaws all recording technologies (if they record "broadcasts" as defined in the treaty).

             

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2011 @ 4:58pm

    Deliberate Timewasting By WIPO

    WIPO can hardly be unaware that there are numerous real problems with IP that need resolving. They would need to have been living under a rock, to have not noticed the storm of criticism against IP maximalists. They are engaged in deliberate timewasting, so as to avoid addressing the real problems. They should be called on it and told to address real problems, not imaginary ones.

    Timewasting is a well-known management error, also known as being a "side issue specialist".

     

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    A nonny mouse, Jun 27th, 2011 @ 5:24pm

    Disney?

    I'm reminded of the (depressing) idea that "Steamboat Willie", and by extension, Mickey Mouse, will never enter the public domain:

    1 - Get broadcast treaty

    2 - Broadcast "Steamboat Willie", while it's still in it's copyright / control period (remember: Disney owns TV stations) - so any time before 2023. For added kicks, broadcast at 3:30 in the morning. Get extra 50 years broadcast protection.

    3. Wait 49 years, repeat step 2

    Bingo! Perpetual "copyright", and you don't have to go crying to / bribing politicians to extend it as you have to at the moment.

    (I may have missed something, so let me know if I have.)

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 7:53am

      Re: Disney?

      I don't think it'd work quite that way. I believe that this would only protect their particular broadcast of that work. You can still get the underlying public domain work, you just can't get it from the broadcaster. As long as your copy of Steamboat Willie doesn't have the broadcaster's watermark, your fine.

      That said, it still a dumb idea. I don't see any particular need add incentives to broadcasters. This is corporate welfare for an industry that doesn't need it.

       

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        DannyB (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 10:52am

        Re: Re: Disney?

        It would work that way.

        They would still sue. You would have to either fold or defend the lawsuit.

        Even if you defend, they might still win. They have perpetual copyright. Your copy is, after all, a copy -- even if not recorded from the broadcast.

         

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    Gwiz (profile), Jun 27th, 2011 @ 8:00pm

    ...the Broadcast Treaty, a ridiculous and unnecessary treaty being debated (for the nth time) at WIPO, which would allow broadcasters to claim rights as middlemen, over things they have no claim to...

    I dunno, these broadcasters might be on to something.

    I am thinking of proposing The Gwiz Midas Treaty, where basically anything I touch becomes mine.

    I am not sure, but it's possible that there might be some resistance from everyone who is not me.

     

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    Pixelation, Jun 27th, 2011 @ 9:42pm

    Let's make it easy

    Let's just make it so everything anyone ever does or says is covered by copyright. That will eliminate any confusion. Don't repeat anything I say or do or I'll sue. Period. If you can't come up with something on your own, screw you with a lawsuit. My middle name is RIAA.
    What could be more fair?

     

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    Ed C., Jun 27th, 2011 @ 11:11pm

    The property game

    Sure, they may be bastards, but could you blame them? "Intellectual Property" is were the game is these days and all they what is a piece of the action. I mean, it's practically minting gold--just poop out anything, no matter how lame, and even your descendants can sue for profit up to* 70 years after you're dead! The only problem is that broadcasters just...well...broadcast, they have no real "Imaginary"...err..."Intellectual" property of their own, so the only way they can get into the game is to lay claim to someone else's.





    *Claims subject to future retroactive term extensions. See your local industry trade group for details.

     

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    A Guy, Jun 27th, 2011 @ 11:22pm

    "So why is it even on the table again?"

    Because a broadcasters campaign contribution (see bribe) is just as green (or whatever color your country's currency is) as all the others.

    Also, we put Joe Biden in the White House.

     

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    Danny, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 6:47am

    Basically, anyone and everyone who is not a broadcaster is against this. So why is it even on the table again?

    Because the ones that support it are supporting it with a(insert profain slang for large) of money. But rest assured its not bridery it lobbying (never understood the difference between those two).

     

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    Deoxy, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 7:05am

    lobbying vs bribery

    In theory, lobbying is just spending money to educate the people you are lobbying - getting them to understand why you hold the position you do.

    In most cases, these days, it is simply inefficient bribery. (Inefficient because the bribor spends more money than the bribee gets - money is wasted in the transaction.)

     

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    DannyB (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 10:53am

    What this really is about

    This is really about licensing DVR's. Or just flat out making them illegal.

    After all, people with DVR's don't watch advertisements -- a crime of the highest order.

     

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    teapartydoc (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 6:10am

    what this is really about

    They haven't really decided yet. They will determine it later. What this is really about is achieving absolute unopposed power.

     

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    JM Hanes, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 7:24am

    ".....which would allow broadcasters to claim rights as middlemen, over things they have no claim to, including public domain works, just for broadcasting them."

    This strikes me as somewhat misleading? If ABC broadcasts Jane Eyre, they're not claiming sole rights to Jane Eyre. As the dissenters point out, content is adequately protected already. Broadcasters are saying you can't record ("fix") that particular program or performance and use it for your own purposes, without express permission. And that's where the most serious dangers lie.

    Permission presumably includes not only commanding fees for use, but controlling how/when/where you show or mount such video. What's really pernicious is that the Treaty would assign legal liabilities to anyone who "facilitates" such recordings and/or distribution. This would essentially give broadcasters de facto control over the technology of any device which could conceivably be used to record a broadcast -- or play it. We're ultimately talking about both hardware and software. Your fast forward button suddenly won't work when you try to skip the advertising; YouTube will be tamed; your cell phone will be disabled, if you try to record a live concert being filmed for commercial use.

    It's safe to say that broadcasters won't be the only ones who would be exceedingly interested in such controls! Broadcasters are after your money, but it's Big Brothers of every ilk who are standing atop the slippery slope of the precedent this Treaty would establish.

     

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