UN convenes broadcasting treaty talks in 2007

Oct 03, 2006 7:18 pm
From Media Network weblog via Reuters

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) agreed yesterday to convene a conference late next year to complete negotiations on a new international broadcasting treaty, ending eight years of wrangling. The WIPO general assembly, the United Nations agency’s top decision-making body, called the so-called diplomatic conference for November 19-December 7, the agency said in a statement.

The conference will aim to update the 1961 Rome Convention on the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations, which predates much of modern television technology. Further preparatory sessions will be held in Geneva in January and June 2007.

The need to update the existing treaty has been made more acute by a growing signal-piracy problem in many parts of the world, WIPO officials said. But some activist organisations question whether the broadcasters need any further protection than that already given to them by international copyright and other existing intellectual property provisions.

The scope of a future treaty, as well as the duration of any protection granted, are amongst issues to be decided at the 2007 conference.
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