26th Session of WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR)

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Chaired by Peru, the SCCR at its 26th session addressed the following issues:
– draft treaty on the protection of broadcasting organizations against piracy of their signals
– limitations and exceptions for libraries and archiving services.

SCCR has been concerned with protecting broadcasting organizations for over 15 years. In 2007, given the lack of consensus over the opportunity to include webcasting within the protective scope, the WIPO General Assembly had redefined the SCCR mandate, limiting it to “traditional” broadcasting (i.e. excluding webcasting) and a signal-based approach (so as to prevent transmitted contents generating rights for broadcasters, either directly or indirectly). Despite this, options debated still continue today to include references to webcasting and post-fixation rights, which is incoherent with the committee’s mandate.

The proposal presented this week by the United States which is recommending protection limited to the simultaneous retransmission right, seems to foster consensus both within member states and among NGOs representing civil society, with the exception for the moment of broadcasters themselves who are still claiming an exhaustive catalogue of exclusive rights (including post-fixation rights).

With regard to limitations and exceptions which might be established to meet the specific demand of libraries and archiving services, there is a wide consensus on the aim to facilitate access to culture and knowledge, but positions differ significantly between advocates of a specific norm-setting instrument and supporters of an approach based on existing international treaties.

In a joint declaration, FIM and FIA expressed their backing for the legitimate aim of simplifying access to knowledge and information, while pointing out that existing standard-setting instruments offered all the flexibility required to achieve this objective.

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