We've just received word that the WIPO Broadcast Treaty isn't likely to go anywhere this year.
A few hours ago, we had heard that the US delegation has said that there is no point in continuing the treaty process. This would be the strongest statement yet made by the US delegation, and seemingly a mortal blow to the treaty's progress. Throughout the day, information has been filtering out to us, indicating a distinct lack of progress on the text. Several hours before, the Indian delegation seemed fed up with the inability for some countries to accept a signal theft treaty. Other delegations had also obliquely indicated their frustrations over the past two days of closed session negotiations.
Apparently, the Chair of the committee has been proceeding through the unofficial draft, collecting proposed alternatives on each article. These different alternative proposals were then being collected into another unofficial document, in a process eerily similar to that which resulted in the current, bloated official draft. As with that draft, the various proposals contradicted each other, and once again illustrated the lack of consensus between the various delegations. It seems that as the committee proceeded from one article to another, it quickly became clear that the positions expressed by the countries earlier in the week were the most they were willing to compromise.
Tomorrow, the Committee will meet again in plenary to decide what to do next. Treaty proponents are still hoping to have additional meetings over the next year (or more), but others are hoping the Committee will take on other copyright work for WIPO in the near future instead. A variety of other issues continue to fill the global IP agenda, and some feel that the focus on this one treaty has gone on too long. The news on that will have to wait.