[A2k] Intel Corporation "opposes the WIPO Broadcast Treaty"
Tue Apr 25 13:20:18 2006
DISCUSSION DRAFT: APRIL 10, 2006
STATEMENT OF INTEL CORPORATION CONCERNING THE WORLD INTELLECTUAL
PROPERTY ORGANIZATION'S PROPOSED TREATY ON THE PROTECTION OF
Jeff Lawrence, Director, Digital Home and Content Policy
Brad Biddle, Senior Attorney, Systems Technology Lab
BACKGROUND. The World Intellectual Property Organization is drafting a
proposed "Treaty on the Protection of Broadcasting Organizations." For
many countries (including the United States) the treaty, if adopted,
will create an entirely new type of intellectual property right. Under
the treaty, broadcasting organizations obtain new legal rights to
control uses of content that they broadcast-rights that are separate
from and in addition to any existing copyright rights in the content.
Adopting countries can choose to extend these new rights to "webcast"
content in addition to traditional broadcast content.
INTEL'S POSITION. Intel opposes the WIPO Broadcast Treaty. Proponents
have not demonstrated that the benefits of creating new exclusive rights
outweigh the burdens that these new rights impose. These burdens
Control of mobile device and digital home innovation. The treaty could
give broadcasting organizations the right to control uses of content
within the home-uses that are legitimate and non-infringing under
copyright law. For example, makers of digital video recorders could be
required to obtain licenses and agree to limitations imposed by
broadcasters in order to enable "time shifting" of broadcast content.
Similarly, mobile device designers could be required to get permission
from broadcasters (in addition to copyright owners) in order to enable
innovative uses of broadcast content. This regime will increase consumer
costs and reduce technical innovation.
Technical Protection Measure (TPM) provisions will become regulatory
mandates that limit design freedom. The treaty requires that the new
broadcaster rights be protected by TPMs. Because broadcasting signals
are generally subject to government standards, TPMs will need to be
incorporated into these standards. Government-mandated TPMs will limit
design freedom and distort markets.
Liability risk for software developers, device makers, and ISPs. Under
copyright law, in some circumstances one party can be liable for
infringement committed by an unrelated party. The treaty raises similar
questions of secondary liability for infringement of its new broadcaster
rights, but provides no guidance or safe harbors that limit risks for
those non-infringing parties that might inadvertently enable
infringement. These unquantifiable risks will inhibit innovation and
Increased rights clearance complexity. Users of content already face a
nearly impenetrable thicket when trying to clear traditional copyright
rights. Adding more complexity to the clearance process will inhibit
innovative uses of content.
Harm to copyright owner interests. Content users will pay licensee
fees to broadcasters in addition to copyright owners, likely resulting
in reduced revenues for copyright owners. Reduced incentives for
creators may result in less created content.
Harm to public interests. The treaty could limit "fair uses" and other
publicly beneficial uses of content, and restrict content that is
otherwise in the public domain.
Intel believes that efforts to enact the WIPO Broadcast Treaty should be
abandoned. Alternatively, and less optimally, Intel believes that the
scope of the treaty should be dramatically narrowed, to focus
specifically on signal theft.