I, and many others like me, have been searching for a rationale behind the WIPO Broadcasters Treaty. While its original purpose was purportedly to protect against signal theft, the treaty instead would give broadcasters, and possibly webcasters, a 50 year copyright-like right in the signals they transmit. These would be rights layered on top of the real copyright holders rights, which would cause a huge array of problems. Naturally, there are also some mandatory technological protection measure provisions as well. A full list of our concerns is here.
Thanks to Ben Ivins, the National Association of Broadcasters lobbyist who is the driving force behind the broadcasters treaty, we now have a rationale for why it is necessary. According to Congress Daily, Ivins says that the treaty is needed to protect sports programming, particularly international soccer matches that can be picked up via satellite and rebroadcast in foreign countries. Wait a minute, that sounds like a…signal theft problem.
But I am glad to know now that WIPO is about to make policy that will result in chaos for consumers, consumer electronics companies, telecom and tech companies for the all important goal (no pun intended) of protecting televised soccer matches.