I'm supposed to be on vacation this week – ha ha. This weekend I'll be preparing for a US Patent and Tradmark Office Roundtable on the WIPO Broadcasters Treaty. I am one of 40 lucky people who have been selected to participate, and it is fairly evenly divided between supporters and opponents, with a few neutral parties thrown in. Here are our marching orders for the roundtable:
(1) Proponents of the treaty are to explain the reasons for the treaty and the positive and negatives of the treaty proposal being discussed in WIPO.
(2) Those who are opposed to or concerned about the treaty are to explain what form of protection they would be willing to support, if any, for broadcasters, cablecasters, satellite casters and “netcasters,” which is the new terminology for wecasters.
(3) All parties are asked to give their views on the definitions related to “netcasting” that the USPTO submitted to WIPO last month. The netcasting definition, which can be found in this Federal Register notice, is an attempt by the US delegation to WIPO to narrow the definition of webcasting so that there will be less opposition to its inclusion into the treaty.
As most of you know, Public Knowledge, along with our NGO colleagues and our friends in the tech and telecommunications industries fall into the second category. I'll look forward to hearing the US broadcast industry explain why they need and should have a 50 year copyright-like right in their signals when the US hasn't even signed on to the 20 year right included in the Rome Convention 45 years ago..
I'll report back on Tuesday evening.