SCCR/39: COMMUNIA Statement on the Protection of Broadcasting Organizations

Vergaan van het schip de Vrijheid
Do not create new obstacles to access to culture and knowledge
Licentie

In our capacity of permanent observers of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), we are attending the 39th session of the Committee, which is taking place in Geneva from 21 to 25 October 2019.

The following is the statement made on behalf of COMMUNIA on the agenda item on the protection of broadcasting organizations (Agenda Item 7):

I’m speaking on behalf of COMMUNIA, an association that works to protect and defend the public domain and users’ rights.

We understand that the current proposal of the Broadcasting Treaty gives broadcasters perpetual rights over content that is not subject to copyright and content that is subject to non-exclusive free licenses, such as Creative Commons licenses. We find this extremely problematic for users.

In addition, the proposal for exceptions in the Chair’s text provides narrower exceptions to protect users than exist for copyrighted works. The draft text says countries “may” extend the same exceptions that exist for copyright, but, obviously, countries can choose not to do this.

This adds new international law restrictions on the adoption of limitations and exceptions for parties to the Rome Convention. This is also more restrictive than the Berne Convention, which has mandatory exceptions for news of the day and quotations, and permissive exceptions for educational and other uses.

The exceptions provisions in the Broadcasting Treaty are particularly important, and different from the issues covered in the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty and Beijing Treaty, because they could add a layer of rights clearance upon copyrighted content.

In order to avoid creating new obstacles to access to culture, knowledge and information, mandatory exceptions and limitations should be adopted. In addition, no rights should be placed on works that are in the public domain or that are openly licensed.

SCCR/39: COMMUNIA Statement on Limitations and Exceptions

Putti spelen op een wip
Individual laws cannot fix cross-border uses
Licentie

In our capacity of permanent observers of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), we are attending the 39th session of the Committee, which is taking place in Geneva from 21 to 25 October 2019.

The following is the opening statement made on behalf of COMMUNIA on limitations and exceptions (agenda items 5 and 6):

I’m speaking on behalf of COMMUNIA, an association that works to protect the public domain and the users’ rights.

We would like to start by thanking WIPO for advancing the work on the Action Plans and for convening the regional and international events. Although we would have appreciated if these events would have provided space for more practitioners to share their concerns, in order to ensure a better representation of all stakeholders, we are pleased to see that there was wide agreement as to the need to have exceptions to support public interest activities.

We understand that some Member States believe these exceptions shall be designed solely at a national level. At the events that took place this year there was not always a chance for the participants to engage in discussions of international solutions, and that might be misunderstood as a lack of will to work towards such solutions. However, we have heard today many countries saying they do want WIPO to act.

Let’s not forget that individual solutions cannot provide an adequate framework for uses that take place online and across borders. Without an international solution, educators, researchers and other practitioners will continue facing obstacles when working together in various countries at the same time, which is something they do on a daily basis.

Finally, we would like to highlight that we agree with the understanding that exceptions and licensing-solutions should coexist. We believe that a balanced copyright system is able to protect fundamental needs through exceptions, while still leaving plenty of space to rightholders to license uses that go beyond those needs. One does not, and should not, replace the other. Rightholders and civil society members seem to agree on that basic principle, despite their divergences. What we need now is to have Member States reassuring these groups that it is possible to protect both interests, without nullifying exceptions through licenses and without exempting uses that would have an unjustified market impact.

This being said, we urge this committee to continue discussions towards a binding international solution.