Post Tagged with: "WIPO"

The Letters of the Law: The Year in Canadian Tech Law

Appeared in the Toronto Star on December 18, 2006 as Decisions, Disputes that Shaped Technology in '06 This past year in law and technology has been marked by a series of noteworthy developments including the explosive interest in user-generated content, the emergence of several artists-backed copyright coalitions, and the arrival […]

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December 18, 2006 1 comment Columns Archive


The Hill Times this week features a special section on Canadian innovation policy that includes an email question and answer session with Industry Minister Maxime Bernier.  The answers to some critical innovation questions are instructive: You are said to take a 'consumer-first' approach to your department. If you agree with […]

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November 7, 2006 2 comments News

The End of WIPO?

Last week's WIPO General Assembly is being rightly billed a major victory – the development agenda will continue with all issues on the table, while a diplomatic conference on a proposed Broadcasting Treaty has been made contingent on two prior meetings and the resolution of all outstanding issues (a marked […]

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October 6, 2006 1 comment News

Canada Against WIPO Broadcast Treaty Diplomatic Conference

Reports from Geneva, where WIPO is holding its General Assembly, indicate that Canada has come out against a diplomatic conference for the WIPO Broadcast Treaty.  The U.S. is now also opposed to the conference, which was seemingly pushed through several weeks ago without consensus support.  I wrote about the controversial […]

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September 27, 2006 Comments are Disabled News

The Most Dangerous Treaty You’ve Never Heard About

With government negotiators and broadcast officials descending on Geneva this week to continue negotiations on the WIPO Broadcast Treaty, my weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) examines a proposal that started as an attempt to address the narrow issue of signal theft and has today mushroomed into a massive treaty that would grant broadcasters in some countries many new rights.  Many people are questioning the impact of the treaty, which includes an exclusive retranmission right, an extension in the term of protection for broadcasts, and the decision to make the exceptions and limitations in the treaty optional.  Indeed, even the Canadian delegation has wondered aloud whether the treaty would create a danger that some broadcasts might never fall into the public domain, effectively creating a perpetual broadcasting right.

The impact of the treaty on individuals and creators could be dramatic, potentially making it more difficult to record television shows for viewing at a later time, locking up content that is otherwise in the public domain, and necessitating that film makers obtain twice as many consents for the re-use of broadcast clips. 

The potential cost of the new rights is also significant, with Canadian broadcast distributors, including the major telecommunications companies that have begun offering high-definition television services, fearing that the new retransmission right alone could result in more than a half billion dollars in new royalty payments flowing out of Canada to U.S. broadcasters.

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September 11, 2006 1 comment Columns