Saturday, June 17, 2006

IS THE WIPO trying to regulate podcasting? Dan Whitbread, of the UK Podcasters Association, sends me this Boing Boing link about a seminar to be held next week in Barcelona:
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 ram 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 latinamerican broadcasters -- who no doubt love the idea of a new monopoly right that they get for free merely for broadcasting a work. Bringing these casters in is a way of undermining the effective opposition to the treaty that's come from countries like Brazil and Chile.

No public interest groups are on the bill to give a counterpoint (of course not -- WIPO is the kind of place where public interest groups' handouts are thrown in the toilets' trashcans).

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 good news is, it's open to the public. If you're a digital rights activist in Barcelona -- or just someone who cares about how big corporations are taking away your rights to use works freely -- then you need to be at this meeting.
I've emailed some people about this, but the time is too tight (probably that was the idea by organizers...)

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