SCCR 29: Statements by European casters and push back by copyright owners (IFPI & FIAP)

SCCR29 At 3pm, the plenary reconvened and the NGOs made their statements regarding the rights, definitions and concepts of the proposed broadcasting treaty discussed during the informal with the help of charts.

On the public interest side we only had KEI, TACD, EFF and CIS. I will post these statements in another blog. Here are 3 statements that are good examples of what the arguments were for the broadcasters (the European Broadcasting Union) followed by the push back by the IFFPI (representing the music industry) and finally the FIAP (film industry also pushing back).

>> EBU: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. [...] I want to be brief because I think that from the broadcasters' perspective we think that time for delegations to discuss substance is more important than interventions from our side. I think our positions generally are known. Do you want us to give some specific input into the documentation which has been discussed today. At the same time we need to be flexible because we know that there will always be differences in details and these may remain until the very end of the Diplomatic Conference.

I think one element important to note is as the Deputy Director, Ms. Leer mentioned this morning saying that it is important to have a treaty which is future proof or at least is adaptable to future technological developments because that is especially the environment where broadcasters are active in. Of course, there are links between the different charts so that means that we may not need to have solutions in each individual part or maybe the solutions can be found elsewhere in the treaty.

Maybe one specific point the prebroadcast signal was discussed I think it is important that this signal is part of those signals which are mandatory part of the treaty as has been mentioned by a number of countries since piracy of that signal can take place, and it can take place before the scheduled broadcast of the broadcast which has acquired the rights to that signal or at least to the content of that signal.

Very simply stated, it is possible that sports events takes place in one part of the world, but the prebroadcast signal is taken in another part of the world, and maybe made available by the pirates before the official broadcaster has planned to broadcast that particular signal. And, therefore, it's important that the broadcaster, the local broadcaster has a right of its own to act quickly and not dependent on, let's say a mere contractual issue which is, of course, dealt with in another matter.

I think that is important to realize that this treaty is not intended to interfere with any contractual relationships and that is, of course, is typical for related rights treaties. Another point I think which is important is the question of the definition of a broadcasting organisation. I think we are aware that if there is no consensus of including broadcasting organisations so those who are active only on the Internet, then, of course, it has to be made clear that these are not part of the beneficiaries of the treaty.

But there are different ways to deal with that because there is also an Article dealing with the scope of application. And it may be better to look at those two elements rather than excluding transmissions over the network from the definition of broadcasting. Also because there are, of course, already existing definitions of broadcasting.

Next we listened to the IFPI representative (not David Carson now back with the US Government) who expressed the same line as in June:

>> IFPI: Thank you. On behalf of the IFPI, I would like to congratulate the Chair for his election and misLeah for her recent appointment as the Deputy Director General. IFPI is the association representing the recording industry worldwide. As we all know, recorded music is essential content for broadcasters, yet, in some countries artists and record companies have no or very limited rights as regard the use of the sound recordings in broadcasting.
IFPI does not object to a treaty that would insure that broadcast organisations are adequately protected against signal theft, but such a treaty groonting yet another layer of rights to broadcast organisations should as a precondition require that Contracting Parties grant adequate at least WPPT minimal broadcasting rights to artists and record companies. As regards the adequate scope and application of a possible treaty, we make the following brief observations.

Number one, the definitions in a new treaty should not blur the traditional definitions used in international copyright treaties, in particular that of broadcasting and other transmission actives. Broadcasting is and should remain limited to over the air one to many transmissions. It is essential to maintain the distinction between broadcasting on the one hand and other forms of transmissions including transmissions over computer networks on the other hand.

Distinction should also be made between broadcast organisations and other transmitting entities. Number two, a new treaty should be limited to protections that are required to fight signal theft. Broadcasting organisations should not be granted rights that would effectively give them control and rights over the content carried by those signals. A new treaty should not result in the peculiar situation that broadcasters should enjoy rights relating to music content that are superior to the rights of those who created and produce this content. Such a targeted approach would, of course, not prejudice the legal protections broadcast organisations might have as separate use of content. We remain at your full disposal to elaborate our views.
Thank you very much.

The film producers representative made the following statement:

FIAP: [...] FIAPF acknowledges that a global treaty on the protection of broadcaster signals may be warranted as part of the deployment of international legal tools to come bass piracy. Signal theft effects economic sustainability of broadcasting organisations which represent an important market for the films and programs that my members make. FIAPF supports a signal based technologically neutral treat where with limited scope which would enable broadcasters to prevent unauthorized retransmission of their signal whether prebroadcast or broadcast. We do not believe this protection requires granting exclusive rights as these may conflict directly with exclusive rights of individual content producers and distributors. We also urge Governments to insure that broadcasters under their jurisdiction be required to comply with copyright law and with best practice in fair trading which programming content produced by film and television production companies. Indeed, it would be ironic, Mr. Chairman, for the broadcasting sector to be granting new legal means of protection if they themselves fail to apply good legal standard in their dealing with content producers. We hope Member States may work together in resolving the other outstanding issues that were under consideration since the start of this committee so that this negotiation may come to a fruitful conclusion and I thank you for your attention.