Not this again. For the better part of a decade, broadcasters have made efforts to create a "broadcast treaty" which would grant broadcasters extra special rights
above and beyond copyright. Under such a rule, a broadcaster who put on public domain material could then claim a "broadcast right" to the content and lock it up. It doesn't make any sense, and thankfully, every time it's been introduced
it's ended up not getting approval
. Honestly, I'd thought this was one issue that had finally died... but I should never underestimate those who seek greater intellectual property rights. Apparently, folks at WIPO are once again trying for a Broadcast Treaty
. Thankfully, opposition is already organizing:
The advocates of a broadcasting treaty have not shown that there is an problem in the area of piracy that cannot be addressed by existing laws on copyright or theft of service. The treaty is in essence an attempt by corporate broadcasting entities to change outcomes of licensing negotiations, by giving the broadcasters a right that they would otherwise have to acquire by contract, in return for something they would give the copyright holders.
In its most aggressive formulations in terms of rights of casting entities, the treaty would provide up to 50 years or even perpetual exclusive rights in content for which the broadcaster did not create and does not own the copyright. This creates a thicket of permissions that makes it much more difficult to redistribute and reuse content.