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New IP Treaty Looming? 279

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the sailing-into-troubled-waters dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to an article by James Boyle in the Financial Times, the United States is helping push a Treaty that would create an entirely new type of intellectual property right in the US, in addition to copyright, covering anything that is broadcast or webcast. (Regardless of whether the work was in the public domain, Creative Commons Licensed etc, the broadcaster would control any copies made from the broadcast for 50 years.) Boyle argues that this is dumb, unconstitutional, and anyway should be debated domestically first."
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New IP Treaty Looming?

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  • "Nothing for you to see here. Please move along."

    Touche.

  • Come on... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bombadillo (706765) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @04:20PM (#15527297)
    Boyle argues that this is dumb, unconstitutional, and anyway should be debated domestically first."

    Having debates on U.S. Policy is sooo pre-2001. Try again in January 2009...
    • Re:Come on... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Nah, we're having plenty of debates. The people in control have just realized that they can ignore the debates with no negative consequences.
    • Re:Come on... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rob_squared (821479)
      "Having debates on U.S. Policy is sooo pre-2001. Try again in January 2009..."

      I disagree, debate is common. Its a good handwaving, misdirecting, tactic.

      Now, if you said 'logic' and 'reason' then I'd agree with you.
    • by Cheapy (809643)
      If we don't want it to pass, all we gotta do is say that homosexuals will be able to marry.
  • by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedy&tpno-co,org> on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @04:22PM (#15527308) Homepage
    Our country is run by lawyers. No where is this more obvious than when seeing the lawmaking process. Greased palms, closed door deals.

    I have a solution, however. The problem is there are too many lawyers. They have no natural predator, as it were. I propose,then, a lawyer hunting season. Say, from Sept to March. Trophies are based on bank account size.

    Of course, mounting your kill is perfectly acceptable.
    • Dibs on Marcia Clark!
    • Re:Our country... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pete6677 (681676)
      This is only possible due to a lack of informed voters. When less than 30% of the people bother to vote, who really runs the government? In other words, we could change this situation if we wanted but we are collectively too lazy and content.
      • Re:Our country... (Score:3, Informative)

        by whoever57 (658626)
        Your comment is very true. How much influence would wealthy companies and individuals have if a higher proportion of the people actually informed themselves and then voted?

        There is a significant problem of lack of choice though, and on NPR this morning was an interesting comment that re-districting has meant many seats are safe Republican or safe Democrat seats -- which leads the holders to be far right or far left (sine the only competition is from people in the same party).
        • by jd (1658) <imipak AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @06:03PM (#15528046) Homepage Journal
          It's tough to get more alternatives when the bar to entry is so impractically high as to essentially form a protected duopoly. Even Britain, where the bar is much lower, is struggling to form a third party with any significant influence. The Liberal Democrats - even when both Conservatives and Labour are discredited - actually LOST seats in the recent(ish) local byelections.


          I have no idea how you could have a genuinely open, fair, multi-party system. It would presumably need to borrow some ideas from proportional representation, as that seems to be the only method of reliably getting multiple parties into politics. Italy, however, shows the risks of the opposite extreme - having too many parties. There, the former Prime Minister is actively working to bring down the current Government in an effort to pull off a coup and seize power. There very nearly wasn't a current Government, as he'd refused to step down even after losing the election.


          My best guess at this time would be for the top two or three candidates to represent the constituancy in direct proportion to the percent of vote they received. So, a person getting 50% of the vote would have 50% of the voting block. This avoids the whole problem of what to do in a tie, as you'd simply have more than one person with the same voting strength.


          I also think that the system needs a third, unelected house, where members are selected from the jury pool and who can place bills on trial, as per any other trial. The idea would be to have a group of anonymous people that lobbyists could not identify to corrupt, and who would retain any influence for such a short time that power itself could not corrupt them.


          What I do not know is how you could implement either of these ideas within the framework of the US Constitution, or how they could be adapted to fit within the expectations of having a clear line of responsibility, or how they could be debugged on the basis of how political systems actually work in practice.


          I guess that information, if anyone did have it, would be covered by this new IP treaty and could not, therefore, be divulged except at a great price.

      • Re:Our country... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Vlad2.0 (956796)
        This is only possible due to a lack of informed voters.

        Maybe if we translate the Consitution (and all political material) into Spanish we wont have this problem in the future. Reading it in the original English is such a faux pas, anyways.

        But seriously - how many students in America's high schools (or even colleges) do you think have actually read and understood the Constitution? In Southern California, we happily graduate anyone who can't read/write English from our high schools. In twenty years (probab
      • Re:Our country... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bsartist (550317)

        This is only possible due to a lack of informed voters.

        I completely agree with that. But...

        When less than 30% of the people bother to vote, who really runs the government?

        I don't know if simply increasing the turnout would help. If 80% of the people voted, but continued to blindly vote along party lines without bothering to educate themselves about the candidates, I don't think the result would be significantly different. Conversely, if the turnout stayed at 30%, but those who voted were better infor

        • I'd be all for that idea. Get rid of the damned party names and then people are forced to do at least a little research.

          Ideally we should just ban political parties and create some rule that says individuals must aquire their own funding locally. They'd spend a lot less money and probably produce a much better election process. There would still be nothing to stop richy rich from running with his own money but the playing field would at least be more even. Presidential elections would probably have to have

        • In fact, I've observed that here in California, the higher the turnout, the more likely the voters are to pick candidates who are essentially slime but have cleverly smeared their opponents (meaning most people don't look beyond the surface of campaign ads and interviews); likewise, the higher the turnout, the more likely they are to pass stupid initiatives that do little but raise taxes (free money from the gov't!!)

          I think the problem is that most people, especially those with little education and/or poor
      • Re:Our country... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by doormat (63648)
        Yea but what communication channels do you (a third party) have to reach people? For people to do their own research?

        Newspaper
        TV/Radio
        Internet

        Now rules have come along lately and changed ownership rules for the first two, and lo-and-behold net neutrality could stand to threaten the third.

        Its kinda like the education system in this country - if all kids know are facts and not how to engage in logic, reason and critical thinking, what chance do they have? They'll just believe whatever their preferred party te
    • Of course, mounting your kill is perfectly acceptable.

      You pervert! These are lawyers were talking about!

    • I misread your comment (i skim) to something liek the following

      what we need is a system for evaluating lawyers similar to myspace. the lawyers take scene photos in their bathrrom mirror, hiding behind their fringes, making cpu-intensive profiles. you stalk the hottest ones (you secretly think emos are *cute*) and leave them creepy messages. you join groups toa lign yourself with specific policies. the lawyers with the most friends win.
      • what we need is a system for evaluating lawyers similar to myspace. the lawyers take scene photos in their bathrrom mirror, hiding behind their fringes, making cpu-intensive profiles. you stalk the hottest ones (you secretly think emos are *cute*) and leave them creepy messages. you join groups toa lign yourself with specific policies. the lawyers with the most friends win.

        Except that the participants aren't exclusively lawyers, that's a pretty fair summary of the status quo political system.

    • Of course, mounting your kill is perfectly acceptable.

      Eeeewwww!!!

      Mounting a dead lawyer? That's rather ghoulish don't you think?
    • Re:Our country... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by plague3106 (71849)
      We have too many lawyers because we have too many laws. Eliminate the excess laws, and we'll have less lawyers as a side effect.
      • We have too many lawyers because we have too many laws. Eliminate the excess laws, and we'll have less lawyers as a side effect.

        But we have too many laws, because we have too many lawyers, therefore we need too many lawyers - etc.
      • Re:Our country... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by mOdQuArK! (87332)
        I propose a constitutional amendment specifying a max # of words for all legislation that is valid at any given period of time (kind of like the max # of words limits in a homework assignment). After applying a new piece of legislation, if the total # of words doesn't fit under the limit, then the new piece of legislation is rejected.

        If the # is small enough, it should 1) give the legislators some reason to use more precise wording, 2) they'll only be able to cover the "basics" of running a society, 3) it w
    • Of course, mounting your kill is perfectly acceptable.

      Oh, good! They'll go great in my tropy room, along with my three game wardens, seven hunters and pure, white, Jersey cow.

    • Of course, mounting your kill is perfectly acceptable.

      Before or after you shoot it?

    • Why not just give Dick Cheney a gun in each hand at a lawyer convention while letting quail fly around the room?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @04:23PM (#15527316)
    Copyleft content can only be distributed under it's copyleft license. If someone wants to change the license terms then the redistribution license is void and the copyright owner can seek civil remedies for infringement. With regard to copyleft content, these bills are stillborn!
    • The GPL -- and many other open-source and related copyright licenses do this -- make it very clear that it only license copyright rights, and that other rights may require separate licenses; if under the new treaty the original broadcaster needs nothing but a copyright license, but simply by broadcasting it acquires a special new exclusive "broadcast property" right, this will enable redistributors of GPL (and similar) content to impose restrictive distribution licenses without violating the terms of the GP
  • by Short Circuit (52384) * <mikemol@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @04:23PM (#15527323) Homepage Journal
    The guy who owns the server, the guy who paid for an account on the server, or the ISP the server colos at or is connected to?
  • Stupid (Score:5, Informative)

    by neonprimetime (528653) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @04:23PM (#15527327) Homepage
    What if only Fox or CBS has the footage of a particular public event? Do we let the broadcaster eviscerate the ideas of fair use, prohibiting other networks from showing fragments so as to comment on the events, or criticise the original coverage? The proposed treaty text allows for fair use-like exceptions but does not require them. Once again, we harmonise upward property rights for powerful commercial entities, but leave to individual states the discretion whether and how to frame of the equally crucial public interest exceptions to those rights. Increased property rights for broadcasters are required. The public interest in education, access, and free speech is optional. (Among other things, most of the recent drafts would outlaw home recording of TV and radio unless a special exception was put into the law, state by state.)

    Well written article. This sounds like a poor idea ... that will more than likely pass simply because of the big company backing ... of course it would be almost impossible to enforce at the individual level ... nobody has the resources to check such things as recording tv or radio programs on your home pc, tape deck, etc.
    • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kadin2048 (468275)

      nobody has the resources to check such things as recording tv or radio programs on your home pc, tape deck, etc.

      That's [arstechnica.com] what [eetimes.com] you [lwn.net] think [extremetech.com].

  • by dubmun (891874) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @04:24PM (#15527336) Homepage Journal
    It is our policy to push our ideas on as many nations as possible.

    It helps distract from the fact that the people of our country have no say of their own...
  • by argoff (142580) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @04:26PM (#15527357)
    You see, the US and Micrisofts and Hollywoods "vision" of the future is that instead of providing goods and services to pay off the huge US debts, they provide IP. While it's an interesting trade off: phoney property for printed up paper money, the problem is that for people to live day to day they need real goods and services. The problem is also that the information age implies just the opposite, information is becomming commoditized which means that it's service value is becoming worth more than it's IP value. Not to mention, that the information age is also making it impossible for the Fed to lie to people about the value of their money. Mees thinks all hell is about to break loose when the real world kicks in and ripps these people a new one.
  • I'm always skeptical about anything that puts webcasting and broadcasting in the same boat.

    Yes, superficially they appear very similar. A single originating source distributing to the masses. But there the similarities stop.

    With broadcasting there are certain physical limitations to take into account - for instance, if I want 100 people to hear/see my broadcast I need a signal of a certain power and frequency. If I want 1000 people to be able to hear it I must increase the broadcast power and I may need to
  • I'm sure (Score:2, Funny)

    by LoonyMike (917095)
    ...Piratbyrån's opinion will be taken into account.
  • Here's the scam (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HaeMaker (221642) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @04:30PM (#15527386) Homepage
    The theory is that both copyright and treaty-making are in the constitution. The RIAA and the MPAA are whispering in the ears of congress, "If you pass a law giving us new rights, it can be constitutionally challenged and we lose, but if you make it part of a treaty, then we can contend that overturning the new treaty is just as unconstitutional as granting us a new right. We can contend that the Supreme Court does not have the power to overturn a treaty."

    Ka-ching!
    • We can contend that the Supreme Court does not have the power to overturn a treaty.

      Umm ... the SCOTUS can declare anything repugnant to the Constitution unconstitutional. It is their job.
    • Re:Here's the scam (Score:3, Insightful)

      by EvanED (569694)
      By my understanding, treaties don't actually do anything domestically. If the US signs and ratifies a treaty, it doesn't actually do anything except demonstrate the country's commitment to the treaty. The Congress would then have to pass a law to make US statutes consistant with the treaty.

      People who know more about this than I, is this accurate?
      • Re:Here's the scam (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jdavidb (449077) *

        I think that may be the way it works in Europe, but in the United States, the Constitution states:

        This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land

        So if I read this properly, treaties made are placed on the same level as the Constitution. Bit of a loophole.

        • You read it improperly, at least according to every Supreme Court ruling on the issue. Particularly, clipping in the middle of that sentence omits the key part of the sentence:

          This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the con

      • Re:Here's the scam (Score:5, Informative)

        by Kadin2048 (468275) <slashdot.kadinNO@SPAMxoxy.net> on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @05:19PM (#15527771) Homepage Journal
        No, that's not accurate at all. Treaties entered into by the United States Congress on behalf of the United States have the full force of law behind them. In fact at various points in our history there has been contention as to whether they are above or below the Constitution in terms of weight (personally I find the assertion that any treaty can possibly come before the Constitution to be a both ridiculous and dangerous).

        Here's the short, short version. The Constitution discusses treaties in its "supremacy clause [wikipedia.org],"
        "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."
        Now, this seems pretty clear to me that the order of precedence is Constitution->Laws->Treaties, but for some reason, others have disagreed.

        The problems all got started in 1918 with Missouri v. Holland [wikipedia.org], where the Congress, seeking to regulate bird hunting (which it doesn't have a clear way in the Constitution to do -- this was before the courts expanded Interstate Commerce to include everything you could possibly imagine), entered into a treaty with the U.K. to regulate bird hunting. Basically, this eventually went up to the USSC, which declared that treaties entered into by the USA overpower States' rights under the 10th Amendment.

        This, in time, started to make people rather nervous, since it meant that the executive and legislative branches of government could basically do anything they wanted, if they could enter into a treaty that required it. There were some unsuccessful attempts at revising the Constitution to prevent this, and make it clear that treaties weren't the supreme law of the land, but were rather limited by the Constitution itself: this was the failed Bricker Amendment [wikipedia.org]. I happen to think this would have been a very good idea, and it's a shame it didn't go through.

        The establishment of the current situation came with Reid v. Covert [wikipedia.org], where the USSC overturned the conviction of a civilian military dependent by a court martial, saying that a treaty doesn't overpower the Constitution in capital cases. (Why they limited it to capital cases, I have no idea, and one of the justices basically asks this in the opinion.) But basically it was seen as a clarification that you can't have treaties that blatantly violate the Constitution. (It also has interesting bearing on the current situation vis a vis Gitmo detainees and the WoT, but that's another story.)

        There may have been more cases since then, but that's as far as I've read them. Basically, treaties right now have some effect which is greater than conventional Federal laws (or at least not bound by the traditional powers of Congress, apparently), but less than the Constitution. So it would still be possible, were the Court so inclined, for them to strike down a very bad WIPO treaty on Constitutional grounds. Whether you think the USSC would actually do that, in its current state and incarnation...well, I'll leave that for another comment.
      • "By my understanding, treaties don't actually do anything domestically. "

        Your understanding is incomplete. According to the U.S. Constitution, Aticle VI, treaties are the supreme law of the land [usconstitution.net]:

        "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Law
        • The very next prase puts treaties last: "and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

          Did you notice that "treaty" was missing in that phrase.

          But really, this is all about quibbling interpretations. The fact is that craven despots are in power at all levels who really don't give a tinker's damn about what the constitution says, so if they want to let corporations shake you down for your entire life savings, they'll
    • "We can contend that the Supreme Court does not have the power to overturn a treaty."

      You can contend all you want, but that doesn't change the fact that the SCOTUS does, indeed, have the power to overturn treaties. No treaty is enforceable until passed by Congress, and anything with legislative force passed by Congress (such as a treaty) can go to the SCOTUS for review if a case is filed with them. Whether they choose to hear it or not is a different matter.
    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supremacy_clause [wikipedia.org]

      Still, it's a lot harder to get out of a treaty than a regular law, and so the copyright cabal is especially interested in seeing something like this pass - not just for the imposition of US copyright law on other countries, but to further ensconce these laws in US statute.

  • I don't want to be too off-topic or political here, so if I am, I apologize, but I have a few honest & serious questions.

    Most people I know agree that copyright is messed up, and this proposal just makes the situation even more complicated.

    From TFA: "rights have to be of limited duration". So, why is it that as a nation, we have not had any noticeable impact on the situation in our country? Do we really want to have copyright limited to a fixed duration again? Do we really want to have more freedom i
  • Other links (Score:3, Informative)

    by torunforever (930672) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @04:31PM (#15527393)
    Since Boyle first wrote about this last September, I was wondering what others had to say about it. Here's a blog entry from Lawrence Lessig [lessig.org]. Not too much written there, but it led me to an EFF page [eff.org] and CPTech action page [cptech.org].
  • every one of them. content CREATORS own the content. content LESSORS HAVE RIGHTS.

    unless you're out to outlaw rights, and this is the start of it.....
  • Question (Score:3, Interesting)

    by OpenSourced (323149) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @04:32PM (#15527403) Journal
    anything that is broadcast or webcast

    Er... What if I speak about it ? Will I be covered. ? I mean could I sue anyone repeating what I said ? :o)

    • Jinx!

      That'll be $5M in licensing fees please.
    • anything that is broadcast or webcast

      Er... What if I speak about it ? Will I be covered. ? I mean could I sue anyone repeating what I said ? :o)


      Hmmm..that brings up an interesting model:

      1. Webcast a video of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, with a reading of the text.

      2. Register said webcast & the content under the new treaty.

      3. Sue the U.S./National Archive/Library of Congress/History textbook publishers/etc. etc. for infringement.

      4. Rinse & repeat for every signatory
  • The U.S. Constitution explicitly grants copyright power to Congress, but it doesn't deny further IP legislation, and in fact says that treaties shall be the supreme law of the land. That is, unless something in the treaty is explicitly banned by the Constitution, any powers any treaties give to Congress are valid. See STATE OF MISSOURI v. HOLLAND, 252 U.S. 416 (1920).
    • The most interesting part about the history of U.S. treaty law happened in the 1950s, and was called the Bricker Amendment [wikipedia.org]. Before you go click on that link, let me give you the bad news first: it didn't pass. It came rather close, but it didn't make 2/3rds majority. If it had, we wouldn't be having this discussion now, because Bricker would have limited treaty powers in such a way that they couldn't be used to override established Constitutional rights, including ones held by the States under the 10th Amen
      • Of course, treaties already can't override established Constitutional Rights (see Reid v. Covert), its just that the powers retained by the States under Amendment X do not include those granted to the federal government, including the treaty power in all its scope under the bare text of the unamended Constitution.

        Of course, we'd still be having this discussion, because the proponents of the treaty would (and will, now, anyway) argue that it (or, rather, the domestic implementing legislation) is within Congr
      • I don't think so. Such an amendment would have been disastrous. It would make it impossible for the EPA to implement Kyoto (if we ever ratify the dang thing), impossible to outlaw torture (that's a non-chattel moral crime and, traditionally, the province of the several States), etc. Such an amendment would leave us with an inability to have a foreign policy that amounted to more than what we have right now -- "Do it our way, or we'll overextend our military resources trying to kick your ass."
    • The U.S. Constitution explicitly grants copyright power to Congress, but it doesn't deny further IP legislation, and in fact says that treaties shall be the supreme law of the land. That is, unless something in the treaty is explicitly banned by the Constitution, any powers any treaties give to Congress are valid.

      Insofar as such "IP" legislation necessarily infringes on the freedom of speech, press, etc., it certainly does, see Amendment I; this is distinguished from the claim that Amendment X forbade the

  • In related news, FedEx & UPS join forces to get the FedUPS Act of 2006 passed that would give transportation companies intellectual claim to every copyrighted material they transport.

    Seriously, why should FedEx or UPS lay claim on a book they transport? Why is a (TV) broadcaster any more special because they transmit a signal? Cuz they put there little logo in the bottom right? Or because they do all kinds of fancy pop-outs that advertise other shows?

    Neither FedEx nor a broadcaster do anything original, why do they get protection from Big Brother?
  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @04:41PM (#15527490) Homepage
    Are you kidding me?! Take some free content and repackage it and suddenly it gets a copyright? There's GOT to be a way I can use this... I've got it!

    I'm going to repackage "The King James Version" and other versions of "The Bible" and then sue every church that attempts to teach from it.
    • Actually, the King James Version of the bible has perpetual crown copyright, although that may be in the UK only, I'm not sure how the Bern convention treats crown copyright. You need the permission of the monarch, their representative or the university printers of Oxford or Cambridge (the monarch's 'official' printers) to print it.

      Repackage the complete works of Dickens and start suing people who teach English literature.
    • It would only affect churches whose copies of the Bible are derived from your broadcast.

      Sorry to burst your otherwise great idea though.
    • You misunderstand the idea. Let's say some radio show broadcasts a dramatic reading of The Fall of the House of Usher,m by Edgar Allen Poe. That perfomance is covered by this, just as it's already covered by copyright. The story itself, however, remains in the public domain, just as it does now. Frankly, from what I can see, this is a tempest in a teapot, over a possible new treaty that doesn't change anything.
      • ...insofar as broadcasts deserve protection -- that is, to the extent that they include original creative work, even if they are derivative works -- they creator of the broadcast already is protected by copyright; as is the original underlying work. There is no use for "broadcast property" except to protect broadcasts that are of material that is not subject to copyright in the first place -- which is very little (since just putting together a broadcast usually creates an original work of authorship), exce
    • And here I was thinking that I could repackage the US Constitution and own the government. However, reading the replies, I see I'd need to prove they used my version to draft any new laws. Hmm, maybe if I wrote a book with the Constitution in it. I could sell it to a law school...
  • **AA Solution (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DaveRexel (887813)
    Maybe this is the **AA solution to the massive failure of the current stategy?

    With regard to FOSS/GPL/CC offerings, will this make the proprietors of the infrastructure (telcos) owners of the information being transmitted, trumping the rights of the original copyright holders?
  • "dumb, unconstitutional, and anyway should be debated domestically first"

    AND WE'RE DOING IT ANYWAY. That's the New American Way, in the New American Century. Four more years!
  • public domain? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenisNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @04:48PM (#15527563) Homepage
    Gah you can't make something that is public domain and make it not public domain in terms of distribution.

    My head asploded.

    Tom
  • by izam_oron (942139) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @04:49PM (#15527568)
    Pirate steals stream, hosts it over P2P (and if it's on there, he doesn't care about intellectual property), millions of other people host it and suddenly everyone's an Intellectual Property holder! How can this be a bad thing? (Yeah, sort of naïve to beleive that, but it's worth a shot . . .)
  • So how long before I can license my work CC-BY-YOU-CAN'T-BROADCAST-THIS-IN-THE-US-3.0?

    -Grey [wellingtongrey.net]
  • Already in Europe (Score:4, Informative)

    by ewhac (5844) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @04:55PM (#15527612) Homepage Journal
    This sounds like an attempt to import into the US a goofy "right" that has existed in Europe for some time.

    It seems that whoever is first to broadcast a copyrighted work is granted a right, independently of the copyright holder, to enjoin redistribution of that work. In other words, the broadcaster gets right of first refusal for any material they were ever first to broadcast.

    It's not at all clear why they got this right in the first place (incentive to broadcast material they didn't produce themselves?), but today it's largely seen as highly anachronistic, and often described in derisive terms.

    Schwab

  • Marvelous (Score:3, Funny)

    by nbannerman (974715) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @04:55PM (#15527615)
    Dear US Government,

    Get stuffed.

    Yours sincerely,

    The Rest of the World.

    I have no problem with the US introducing stupid laws in their own country. But why on earth does this need to be pushed into the WIPO? Surely there are more important things to be worrying about than yet more rules to line the pockets of big business?
  • Surely any event, performance, interview etc is already covered by contract or other agreement before the event. For example, a movie broadcast on the TV cannot then be in any sense owned by the broadcaster for the next 50 years.

    When you see a video crew doing vox-pops in the street, that young thing with the clipboard is obtaining permissions to use the interviews.

    Is this just broadcasters trying to save on paper work?

  • U.S. people have been passive in the wake of corporate attack against their freedom for over a long time now. And the attack progresses day by day. Now what is it gonna be next ?
  • Protecting the rights to the broadcast as a whole I like.

    Believe it or not, there can be a great deal of creativity in how you present a broadcast of material copyrighted by others. This should be protected as a performance.

    That said, if you copy a DJ set for instance, and cut it up into individual tracks, those individual tracks should not be covered by this "broadcast copyright", as they are divorced from the context that the broadcaster put them in, and copyright should go to the recorders/performers of
  • With the DMCA and the broadcast flag it will be illegal to save a copy. So even after the broadcast rights expires in 50 years, copies will still be unavailable thus making copyrights perpetual constitutional or not. Just broadcast again in 49 years to get another renewal. If someone proves it's identical they must have violated the DMCA.
  • Telecommunications and digital electronics have demonstrated that bits of information do not behave like physical object, which are subject to property laws because they are naturally scarce. Why, then, are we trying to make information even more into property?

    This is the dialog which the powers-that-be do not wish to enter into. There was no opposition to the original Berne Convention (can I hear a "Fuck you, Victor Hugo"?), nor could there have been. But some of us believe that we now know better. They wi
    • Telecommunications and digital electronics have demonstrated that bits of information do not behave like physical object, which are subject to property laws because they are naturally scarce.

      Physical objects are not subject to property laws because they are naturally scarce.

      They are subject to property laws because protecting them encourages people to create value.

      This is also the reason -- rather more expressly, in the US -- that information is protected as "intellectual property".

  • by element-o.p. (939033) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @05:25PM (#15527803) Homepage
    ...over my dead body!

    If I wrote, performed and recorded the material, then *I alone* (or in partnership with other musicians who contributed to these works) get to decide how the material is to be licensed. If I release something under a creative commons license (as I have), then it is free (as in "speech") for others to use, *PERIOD*.

    While I might be willing to sign over rights to my creative works to a publisher so that my works can be distributed, there's no way I would be willing to sign a contract that assigns the rights to my creative works to the broadcaster.

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