On Friday, 12 December 2014, Martin Moscoso, the Chair of the 29th session of WIPO's Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR29) released his Summary By the Chair (attached below) which contained language on the 1) protection of broadcasting organizations, 2) limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives and 3) limitations and exceptions for educational and research institutions and for person with other disabilities.
The SCCR is on its last session. The Chair has provided us with a Summary. Attached is the Item 5 or Protection of Broadcasting Organizations. More work needs to be done. Obviously.
The Chair asked for specific and brief NGOs comments on limitations and exceptions regarding education. KEI focused on the US example (110 and fair use) and the language proposed in the African group document regarding classroom use:
SCCR 29: Limitations and exceptions for educational and research institutions and for persons with other disabilities
The last item on the SCCR 29 agenda is Item 7: Limitations and exceptions for educational and research institutions and for persons with other disabilities.
SCCR 29 Negotiations on Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives (US, Greece, Kenya, Brazil)
This morning on the last day of the WIPO SCCR 29, we are listening to the opening statements regarding the work on limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives. The positive buzz of yesterday's animated Q & A with Dr. Crews is replaced by the re-stating of well-known positions on the topic.
SCCR29: Opening statement of the Asia and the Pacific Group on limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives
On Thursday afternoon, 11 December 2014, Bangladesh delivered the following powerful intervention on behalf of the Asia and the Pacific Group on limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives. This group includes nations such as Bangladesh, Iran, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. The Asia and Pacific Group stressed that copyright limitations and exceptions were assured to developing countries and LDCs to ensure a more balanced and efficient international copyright system anchored in Article 7 of the WTO TRIPS Agreement,
SCCR29 December 11, 2014 Plenary regarding limitations and exceptions for Libraries and Archives
SEPTA class action suit on excessive pricing of Sovaldi, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
1. The SEPTA the law suit.
2. A pessimistic 2011 OECD working paper on the weak competition remedies for excessive pricing in the United States.
3. A 2012 report on a 2011 OECD policy roundtable on excessive pricing
While the many publishers representatives took the floor to explain that there are truly no problems with limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives (and anyway according to them if there are problems that can be solved with licenses), libraries & archives as well as public interest groups make their case: the committee must continue its work on limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives and find solutions.. Here are excerpts from some of the interventions:
Following Professor Crews' presentation of his updated report on limitations and exceptions (L&E) for libraries and archives, today more member states, IGOs and NGOs engaged again in an interesting Q&A. After years in this committee, I have rarely witnessed such enthusiasm and interest among all the SCCR participants about a report.
The SCCR 29 went again into informals this morning and NGOs can listen but not report on what is going on. As per the agenda, the broadcasting treaty is still the topic of discussion. While the US delegation was supporting making the charts describing the definitions, concepts and rights being discussed available to the public, there were other delegations (TBD) against it and the charts are thus still "secret".
We are reconvening into plenary after the coffee break.
On October 21th 2014, the European Commission proposed the ratification, on behalf of the EU, of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled.
The ratification by 20 countries is necessary for the Marrakesh Treaty to enter into force. Only 1 to 5% of published books are available in an accessible format for visually impaired persons worldwide. The ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty by the EU will help address this “book famine” that deprives 250 million people of access to culture and education.
The EU, authorised by the Council, signed the Marrakesh Treaty on 30 April 2014. The Lisbon Treaty grants the competence of ratifying international agreement to the EU (Art 218), the European Court of Justice has confirmed this EU competence in relevant cases. It is now for the Council to authorise the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty by exclusive EU competence.
If Member States refuse, or propose shared competence, the ratification will be significantly delayed, and so will be the application of the Treaty. If this is the case, on what legal grounds would the Council base its objection to the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty under exclusive EU competence?
Juan Carlos Girauta Vidal, ALDE
Javier Nart, ALDE
· Fernando Maura Barandarian, ALDE
· Yana Toom, ALDE
· Enrique Calvet Chambon, ALDE
· Mircea Diaconu, ALDE
· Jean-Marie Cavada, ALDE
· Marielle De Sarnez, ALDE
· Enrico Gasbarra, S&D
· Alessandra Moretti, S&D
· Giorgos Grammatikakis, S&D
· Julia Reda, Green
· Pascal Durand, Green
· Marie Christine Vergiat, GUE
· Marc Joulaud, EPP
· Bogdan Wenta, EPP
· Rosa Estaras Ferragut, EPP
· Santiago Fisas Ayxela, EPP
· Pilar del Castillo EPP
Also presented during the afternoon plenary, here are 3 statements by public interest organizations, the TACD, EFF and CIS:
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).
Below is a cleaned up version of the transcript, from my rambling intervention for KEI on the broadcasting treaty definitions.Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My comments would be initially on the definitions.
It is our position that it's more appropriate to provide protection for free services that are traditionally provided by radio and television and less appropriate for pay services,
Thank you very much.The TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue is concerned about the discussion on this treaty. Whereas in the past, due to the lack of definitions, we called it an unidentified flying object, now, as the definitions get a bit clearer, we feel it’s becoming a more identified flying object in the air as a transmission and, precisely because it’s becoming identified, some of these definitions we consider are very concerning for us and we are worried about these definitions because we think these definitions and these protections of rights could mean a threat to access to culture, a threat even to freedom of speech, and a threat to the public domain. Let´s remember that we are talking about a public domain, about public broadcasting signals.
We think these threats are coming from a scope that is much broader than is recommendable. It is a scope that could contradict a lot of the digital rights that millions of young people around the world are fighting for and defending. And I think this sensitivity of digital rights of mixing, of the type of things that go on every day millions of times on the Internet should not be threatened by this treaty. So how can we avoid that? We could avoid that by avoiding any post fixation rights.
We could also avoid it by a very narrow definition of simultaneous or near simultaneous traditional broadcasting signals to the public in the air. Broadcasting should mean, similar to the Rome Convention, the transmission by wireless over the air by means for public reception of sounds, of images and of words.
As well, what is a signal? What is a signal? A signal obviously could not just mean everything. A signal means an electronically generated traditional carrier over the air with sounds and images. What we really need is to narrow down the scope to a point where we don’t see this as something that can be a threat to the creativity, innovation, new business models at a time when we know that the business models need that flexibility, what we don’t need is yet another layer of bureaucratic costly rights that would be burdensome for the future of the Internet.
For these reason, for consumers, for Internet users, for culture, for new innovation, we would like to call for this very narrow definition of the scope. Thank you very much.
To understand the negotiations this week at the WIPO SCCR 29, it is helpful to review an April 2014 document, endorsed by several broadcasting organizations.
The attached document* is a joint statement by 12 broadcasting organizations, on "THE OBJECTIVES, SPECIFIC SCOPE AND OBJECT OF THE PROPOSED WIPO BROADCASTERS' TREATY".
The December 9, 2014 SCCR morning session started with the Chair's summary of yesterday informals. The delegates discussed 3 charts. The first chart called "a technological platforms chart" is supposed to clarify the scope of protection of the new instrument, the broadcasters' treaty. The second chart is called "a rights chart". And additionally, the Chair prepared a third chart which was called a definitions chart, which contained the definitions of broadcasting organization, broadcasting transmission and signal.
The morning session of SCCR 29 (Dec 8-12, 2014) ended with a coffee break which will be followed by informals (that we are not allowed to report on at this point). After the usual decisions this morning i.e, Adoption of the agenda of the twenty ninth session then Accreditation of new non governmental organizations (and yes, the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP) is in!) we had the Adoption of the Report of the Twenty-Eighth Session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights.
The World Intellectual Property Organization's 29th Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) is meeting in Geneva from 8-12 December 2014. WIPO has a live stream of the proceedings; the password is sccr29. The opening statement of the European Union is contained below.