Kicking the can down the road? Draft conclusions for SCCR 24, from 10:45 PM, July 24, 2012

Below are the draft conclusions, from the evening informal negotiations session on future work. The document say the version is current as of 10:45 PM, Geneva time.

Below are the key recommendations regarding work on persons who are visually impaired. Note, there is mention of Diplomatic Conference in 2013, for an "international instrument." In this draft conclusions, the General Assembly is asked to approve the diplomatic conference in an "extraordinary session" after SCCR 25 which meets November 19 to 23, 2012 --after the US election. Also, there is no agreement the nature of the instrument will be a treaty, a key demand of the Obama Administration, which backs a weaker non-binding recommendation.

  • an inter-sessional meeting to be held in Geneva between the 2012 General Assembly and the 25th session of the SCCR. The exact dates will be determined by the WIPO Secretariat.
  • the item of limitations and exceptions for visually impaired persons/persons with print disabilities will continue in the 25th session of the SCCR with a view to making a recommendation to the WIPO General Assembly in an extraordinary session for the convening of a Diplomatic Conference in 2013 to adopt an international instrument on limitations and exceptions for visually impaired persons/persons with print disabilities.

This is really kicking the can down the road -- in this case, past Obama's first term in office. After four years, Obama can't overcome opposition from a handful of mostly foreign owned publishers to support a treaty for blind people. In many respects, this is a money in politics story. If blind people were financing his campaign, they would have had a treaty a year ago. The Obama administration wants the decision on the treaty delayed until the election so it will not interfere with its campaign fundraising from publishers, and so it will not suffer bad publicity for opposing the treaty, before the election.

The following are the draft recommendations:

(note, in my copy, there are two para 2s, so the numbering may be fixed by this morning)

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR)
Twenty–fourth Session
Geneva, July 25, 2012

Draft conclusions

Agenda

1 The Committee agreed to include a new item in the agenda related to the contribution of the SCCR to the implementation of the Development Agenda recommendations. Some delegations stated that the inclusion of this item was limited to this session of the Committee preceding the General Assembly and should not set a precedent.

2. The Committee agreed to continue to work on all subjects on the agenda of the 24th session of the SCCR taking into account their equal importance and different levels of maturity.

Limitations and Exceptions

2 The Committee agreed to continue the work program concerning limitations and exceptions following a global and inclusive approach, taking into account the equal importance of all the issues and different levels of maturity, while recognizing the need for concurrently addressing all the issues with a view to achieving progress on all of them.

Limitations and Exceptions: educational and research institutions and persons with other disabilities

3 The Committee took note of the new documents, namely Limitations and Exceptions regarding Education, proposal by the Delegations by Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay (SCCR/24/6), and Draft Articles and Thematic Clusters on Limitations and Exceptions to Copyright for the Benefit of Educational, Teaching and Research Institutions, proposal by the Delegation of Brazil (SCCR/24/7).

4 Delegations identified three main common topics for discussion, namely those focused on uses, persons with other disabilities and broader topics with implications for education.

5 A compilation of the text proposals and text comments on the above topics, including the provisions on the topic of the Draft WIPO Treaty on Exceptions and Limitations for the Persons with Disabilities, Educational and Research Institutions, Libraries and Archives, proposal by the African Group (document SCCR/22/12), and its updated versions presented during the session was approved by the Committee.

6 This compilation will constitute a Committee document titled [“Working Document Containing Comments on and Textual Suggestions towards an Appropriate International Legal Instrument (In Whatever Form) on Limitations and Exceptions for Educational, Teaching and Research Institutions and Persons with Other Disabilities”] (document SCCR/24/8). This document will constitute the basis for the future text-based work to be undertaken by the Committee in its 25th session.

7 The Committee agreed to recommend to the WIPO General Assembly that the SCCR continue discussion on these issues and assess the progress of work with a view to the possible adoption of an international instrument.

Limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives

8 The Committee approved document SCCR/23/8 Prov. titled “Working document containing comments on and textual suggestions towards an appropriate international legal instrument (in whatever form) on exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives,” and identified as final document SCCR/23/8. This document will constitute the basis for the future text-based work on the matter to be undertaken by the Committee in its 25th session.

9 The Committee agreed to recommend to the WIPO General Assembly that the SCCR continue discussion on the remaining issues and assess progress of work with a view to the possible adoption of an international instrument.

Limitations and Exceptions: visually impaired persons/persons with print disabilities

10 The Committee took note of the Fifth Interim Report of the Stakeholders’ Platform (document SCCR/24/2) and encouraged the stakeholders to continue the work of the Stakeholders’ Platform.

11 The Committee moved forward with text-based work based on the “Working document on an international instrument on limitations and exceptions for visually impaired persons/persons with print disabilities” (document SCCR/23/7), and adopted a revised version contained in document SCCR/24/9.

12 The Committee noted that the work at the end of the present session of the Standing Committee advanced significantly its work toward achieving an international instrument. In this connection, the Committee agreed on the following recommendations for the WIPO General Assembly:

a) an inter-sessional meeting to be held in Geneva between the 2012 General Assembly and the 25th session of the SCCR. The exact dates will be determined by the WIPO Secretariat.

b) the item of limitations and exceptions for visually impaired persons/persons with print disabilities will continue in the 25th session of the SCCR with a view to making a recommendation to the WIPO General Assembly in an extraordinary session for the convening of a Diplomatic Conference in 2013 to adopt an international instrument on limitations and exceptions for visually impaired persons/persons with print disabilities.

Protection of Broadcasting Organizations

13 The Committee reaffirmed its commitment to continue work, on a signal based approach, consistent with the 2007 General Assembly mandate, towards developing an international treaty to update the protection of broadcasting and cablecasting organizations in the traditional sense.

14 The Committee pursued discussions that led to the adoption of a single text titled “Working document for a treaty on the protection of broadcasting organizations” contained in document SCCR/24/10, which will constitute the basis of further text-based discussions to be undertaken by the Committee in its 25th session, subject to any further textual comments to be submitted by the Members.

15 To maintain the momentum regarding a draft treaty on the protection of broadcasting organizations and cablecasting organizations in the traditional sense the Committee agreed that an inter-sessional meeting on the protection of broadcasting organizations will be organized in Geneva between the 25th and the 26th sessions of the SCCR. The exact dates will be determined by the WIPO Secretariat.

16 The Committee agreed to recommend to the WIPO General Assembly that it continue its work with a view to the convening a diplomatic conference in 2014.

Contribution of the SCCR to the implementation of the respective Development Agenda recommendations

17 The Chair stated that all statements made in relation to Contribution of the SCCR to the implementation of the respective Development Agenda recommendations would be recorded in the report of the 24th session of the SCCR and would be transmitted to the WIPO General Assembly in line with the decision taken by the WIPO General Assembly related to the Development Agenda Coordination Mechanism.

Next Session of the SCCR

The 25th session of the SCCR will take place from November 19 to 23, 2012.

[End of conclusions]