Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Media Your Rights Online

WIPO Talks May Portend Sweeping Broacast-Based Copyright 113

Posted by timothy
from the by-humming-this-tune-you-accept-our-license dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It seems the nasty 'Broadcast Treaty' is rearing its head again in the WIPO talks. This would give a new copyright to what is uncopyrighted or out of copyright material to anyone who broadcasts the material. It essentially re-ups the copyright — not to the original copyright holder, but to the broadcaster, without any contract to the original holder."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

WIPO Talks May Portend Sweeping Broacast-Based Copyright

Comments Filter:
  • by countertrolling (1585477) * on Saturday June 25, 2011 @06:38AM (#36566784) Journal

    Copyright is to protect the privileges of the distributor, never the creator...

    • by mfnickster (182520) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @07:15AM (#36566998)

      Not originally, at least in the US. The justification for copyrights and patents in the Constitution was "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

      The authors and inventors may also be the distributors, but that's certainly not a requirement. Notice it doesn't say "publishers and marketers."

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 25, 2011 @07:21AM (#36567036)

        Don't be fooled by the stated intention. Copyright is the the exclusive right to copy, an act necessary for distribution, not for the creation of new works. Copyright law therefore inherently serves those who distribute, not those who create.

        • by mfnickster (182520) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @08:47AM (#36567528)

          Copyright is the the exclusive right to copy, an act necessary for distribution, not for the creation of new works

          Yes, but the point of having that exclusive right is supposed to be to encourage the creation of new works.

          • GL selling new works when no corporation will sell your stuff similar to what they've bougjht (sell).

          • by Znork (31774)

            No, the excuse for having that exclusive right is supposed to be to encourage the creation of new works.

            The point of it is, and always has been, control over distribution.

            You can easily analyse the nature and implementation to determine the actual reason. Throughout history the author and creator has been the weak party to a transaction; they want and need their material published, they hold a product that is, for the distributors, largely replaceable, they need to get into a limited numbers of venues and c

          • People who harp on "the point" of copyright while ignoring the reality of its use are the useful idiots for those who exploit it.

          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            Then the protection of the works could not last longer than the producer. Right now you are only incentivized to produce one or maybe two works then live off the income for the rest of your life.

        • by lpp (115405)

          Quick definition check for copyright turns up:

          The exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same.

          My emphasis there on the latter part. Yes, distributors are the ones who mechanically produce copies but it's the original creator who is granted copyright and therefore the right to grant others the right to copy. It's not the right to copy it's the right to control who copie

          • by kermidge (2221646)

            What the hell are these people smoking? You want to profit from re-packaging public domain? Feel free. You want rights with that? In your dreams.

            Laws and proposed laws such as this strike me as beyond absurd, preposterous, and, essentially, crimes against humanity.

            Years ago, with the first extension, I could maybe go along with it solely for the "widows and children" aspect - but for no other.

            Copyright and patent were never intended to advantage anyone but the creator; that another party might also prof

        • by Kjella (173770)

          How could it possibly be better for the distribution industry to need permission than to not need it?

    • Temporary Monopoly (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Doc Ruby (173196) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @07:43AM (#36567152) Homepage Journal

      The profitable privileges of the distributor have always conflicted with the free speech/press rights of the people. The US Constitution's original power to Congress to create something like copyright (a temporary monopoly "to promote progress in science and the useful arts") was a 1700s compromise with our rights that never really worked, like any compromise with rights. But it was the best our predecessors came up with in the generations when the publishing business was mostly defined by manufacturing and producing heavy physical products dressed up with the copyrighted content.

      Since the 1900s, broadcasting has decreased the dependency on processing and moving matter for sale with content copied on it to make profits. We're far past the point where copyright is necessary for even the original 17 years. In 17 years a generation's new pop culture book becomes folk culture from the previous generation. But that takes only maybe 10 years for a TV show, 5 years for a movie, 3 years for a song, a couple years for a digital game. The profit curves match those pop->folk expirations, so the profits that promote science and the "useful" arts as incentive to create by those who'd do something else if profits didn't incent them also expire pretty quickly. The profits from the folk phase, the "long tail", are a bonus too small to justify to any realistic capitalist financier the initial creation, and are the product of as much work by the audience perpetuating the content as work by the creator or distributor. And of course most artists and inventors create their work not for the profits, but by the compulsion to create, which is typically what drives the creators of the best content - the content created solely for profits, especially large expected profits with no competition - is typically the least valuable creation, and most dependent on an artificial government monopoly to protect income.

      In the 2000s, copyright for even the extended periods bought by the copyright industry from successive 1900s Congresses overall interferes with progress in science and the useful arts. It always conflicted with our speech/press rights. There is no justification for extending it beyond the original 17 years except simple corruption: the regulators are captured by the copyright industry, and violate the people's rights to press/speech as well as the progress in science and the useful arts that we need. The copyright changes that can trade progress for compromise of our rights would cut sharply the length of the monopoly, and release the content from control after the time the content has its shot at repaying the investment in creating it.

      • Consider yourself modded +1 Informative and +1 Insightful. If I had any mod points left, that is...

        • by Doc Ruby (173196)

          Thanks. Though on rereading it I give it a -1 wordo and -1 punctuation, because
          "manufacturing and producing heavy physical products"
          should be
          "manufacturing and distributing heavy physical products"

          and

          "the creators of the best content - the content created solely for profits, especially large expected profits with no competition - is typically the least valuable creation, and most dependent on an artificial government monopoly to protect income."
          should be
          "the creators of the best conten. Tthe content created

          • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

            Little? In comment view, each click opens the one higher up in the hierarchy. You can't even position the cursor with the mouse, as it steals focus from the editing field; nor click a link, because it opens up the preceding comment first, and only after the entire thread is open can you follow links, since middlemouse doesn't work either.

            Yes, editing would be nice. Even Wikia can give you versioned comments, with the edits displayed and reviewable by anyone, even if you're not allowed to delete your comment

      • by tepples (727027)

        There is no justification for extending it beyond the original 17 years except simple corruption

        Rolling back the copyright term substantially would require pulling out of the WTO, as the WTO treaties include TRIPS, which includes the Berne Convention, which requires life plus 50 years as the minimum term for copyright. If the United States were to pull out of WTO, other countries would likely increase tariffs on products imported from the United States, which would hurt even those industries that don't rely on copyright.

        • by Doc Ruby (173196)

          The US dominates the global copyright industry. The WTO TRIPS and Berne convention do little or nothing to protect our free speech/press. The US forcing the global copyright regimes to adopt our protection of people's rights would be a win for both our freedom and for legitimate, sustainable commerce. But if the business as usual of copyright commerce were impaired by new tariffs, that would force content creation back to its basic motives and the higher quality, if lower quantity, that they produce.

          In othe

          • by tepples (727027)

            The US dominates the global copyright industry.

            As I understand it, said copyright industry has threatened to pack up and leave, producing more films outside the United States, should Congress not pass major pieces of legislation.

            • by Doc Ruby (173196)

              Competition is good. The copyright industry depends on stuff to copyright, which is produced here. They've already got an extraordinarily advantageous environment here - if it's not good enough, they'd have left. Let them speak French, or German, or with a British accent, or Chinese - whatever their alternative choice.

              The idea that the American people are hostage to any industry that demands unjust special protections and subsidies is insane. They didn't get to dominance from America by chance or by legisla

    • by rdbiker (2278618)
      I wonder how would history be different had the inventor of the wheel copyrighted the invention? Hmm, no need to go that far, what about copyrighting the invetion of the fountain pen?
      • by moortak (1273582)
        You can't copyright a physical invention, you patent them. Early fountain pens were in fact patented.
    • by nurb432 (527695)

      No, its about protecting the entity with the most money.

  • I am confused (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tqft (619476) <ianburrows_au@yahoo . c om> on Saturday June 25, 2011 @06:42AM (#36566800) Homepage Journal

    I was trying to think of a situation in which this makes sense but couldn't.
    Scenario:
    Download "With The Marines At Tarawa" from the Internet Archive.
    Broadcast or stream over the internet. Gain broadcast rights so no-one else can do it.
    How does this promote any art or science?
    What am I missing?

    • Re:I am confused (Score:5, Informative)

      by denzacar (181829) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @06:45AM (#36566820) Journal

      What am I missing?

      Billions of dollars and thousands of lobbyists?

    • ...
      ...
      3) Profit!

    • Re:I am confused (Score:5, Informative)

      by Nursie (632944) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @06:47AM (#36566838)

      Sorry, your broadcast wasn't on a major network so it doesn't count. Silly citizen thinking this law would apply to you!

      No, you are the target, your actions make you a target for a lawsuit when one of the real people picks up the copyright.

      Yeah, I can't think of a way this law makes any sense either, but then that's been true of a lot of laws in the last decade or so.

    • Re:I am confused (Score:4, Interesting)

      by PhilHibbs (4537) <snarks@gmail.com> on Saturday June 25, 2011 @07:03AM (#36566914) Homepage Journal

      I think that you gain copyight over the broadcast that you made, so no-one can take your broadcast and redistribute it. If they have an original source that they did not get from you, this does not prevent them from distributing that. In other words, you own the copyright on the re-encoding that you did, but not the underlying content. There isn't enough detail in the articles that I can find to clarify this, though.

      • by Doc Ruby (173196)

        You are probably right. Or at least your version is the most sensible version, which is far from a guarantee that it's what the WIPO is implementing.

        However, even your version would require the accused infringing copier to prove that their copy was obtained legally, not from the newly copyrighted broadcast whose owner would accuse the new broadcast of infringement. Sure, in principle the burden would be on the accuser to prove the other copy was copied from their newly copyrighted broadcast. But in practice

        • by dryeo (100693)

          It would be closer to the British monarch's copyright license required by anyone publishing, which we destroyed at great cost and risk in a revolution by which we previously established the government to protect our rights, not burden us with bureaucracy that protects private profits.

          Huh? The US copyright was just a copy of the English copyright law, namely the Statute of Anne, with a few minor changes like replacing the advancement of learning with advancement of arts and sciences and expanding it to include charts and maps. Registration was required by both along with depositing a copy in a library. Actually the American version was potentially worse as registration was with a government agency whereas the British version was registering with a private group, the Stationers. Same with

      • I believe that this is actually done with some long-past-copyright works of art. They have been in private gallaries so long that they havn't been in public view since before the invention of the camera, or at least the color camera, and the people who hold them do not permit photographs as this would remove the exclusivity of their copy and thus devalue it. It's also a common practice in artistic photography for the photographer to sell a copy exclusively to one person, and then destroy all other copies in
  • by Just Brew It! (636086) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @06:42AM (#36566804)
    Can we at least proofread the headlines? I've gotten used to seeing silly typos like this on mainstream news sites like CNN and the Chicago Tribune, but c'mon Slashdot, you can do better than that! ;-)
  • by belthize (990217) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @06:44AM (#36566808)

    I drifted through the various referenced links and don't really see where they came to that conclusion. The links appear to be mostly self referential to other TechDirt articles. I did scan through what I took to be the relevant WIPO section but I didn't get what they got out of it, admittedly I didn't get much out of it at all.

    I certainly agree with the point that this would be a Bad Thing(TM).

    • by Doc Ruby (173196)

      Maybe you're right. If so, I'm glad TechDirt is rebalancing the Overton Window [wikipedia.org] that corporate lobbyists are dragging to protect only profits and propaganda, at the expense of people's speech and press rights. Without countertrolls in other directions, the rightwing trolls always win.

      • Copyright isn't an issue of left vs right. It's an issue of money vs non-money. Old fashioned class-warfare. The only difference in left and right on the issue is that the right are willing to openly admit to serving a corporate agenda (Or as they put it, protecting the free market system), while the left will pretend to be concerned first before doing exactly the same thing.
        • by Doc Ruby (173196)

          Please give me some examples of those "on the left" who do exactly the same thing. Note: not all Democrats are "left" - indeed, few are.

          And also note: I said "other directions", not just "the other direction". The "left vs right" framing is a strawman, since there's little "left" in the US, but many (actual, if not properly identified) alternatives to the right.

          • As there are no hard definitions of what left or right actually mean, it's impossible to give an indisputable example of either.
            • by Doc Ruby (173196)

              No, the right is defined by authoritarian ideology, centralized control of people but minimal control of business groups (corporations, trade associations), valuing property higher than labor, enforcement of principles by coercion. The left is defined by voluntary ideology, decentralized control of people but centralized control of business groups, valuing labor higher than property, encouragement of principles by incentive.

              There is little to no left in the US. There is a lot of right, to a mostly greater o

              • No, the right is defined by authoritarian ideology, centralized control of people but minimal control of business groups (corporations, trade associations), valuing property higher than labor, enforcement of principles by coercion. The left is defined by voluntary ideology, decentralized control of people but centralized control of business groups, valuing labor higher than property, encouragement of principles by incentive.

                There is little to no left in the US. There is a lot of right, to a mostly greater or somewhat lesser degree, especially among government officials.

                But you're the one claiming equivalence between left and right. Yet when asked you claim that the terms mean nothing. I say your equivalence is simply false.

                So, where does minimum coersion, minimum control of business groups and decentralised control of people come on that scale? That's the failure of it, it implies bundling of ideals that isn't really necessary.

              • by nedlohs (1335013)

                So basically "the left" is an abstract grouping of things which hasn't existed in at least the last 2000 years.

                So what's the point of contrasting that with something that does in fact exist ("Communist" China as it exists today seems to be your doing your "the right" thing, for example).

  • by Hazel Bergeron (2015538) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @06:57AM (#36566888) Journal

    Out-of-copyright work was given to Google to scan and in return the BL accepted that Google would have exclusive commercial rights to the scans for a while. It's not quite the same as giving over the copyright on the original works - in theory another organisation arrange a deal with the BL to have physical possession of the works for a while at no cost to make their own copies. Good luck with that, non-profits.

    Incidentally, the BL estimated the cost of the work for them would have been £6 million, which is not very much by the standards of this sort of work and certainly not a figure on the publications' cultural value. This is just another government gift to a large corporation - indeed, previous meetings and announcements suggest Cameron has a bit of a hard-on for Google.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      Google would have exclusive commercial rights to the scans

      Not to the work, to the scans.

      Isn't that something different? I could publish an edition of the Bach 2 and 3-part Inventions and I would have exclusive commercial rights.

      I see, but Google is making a digital samizdat, often including the original copyright marks. I guess I answered my own question.

      Carry on...

    • Europe's own fault (Score:4, Interesting)

      by t2t10 (1909766) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @07:33AM (#36567100)

      First of all, Google acquired a copyright to the scans, not the work itself. Second, the fact that Google even acquired that is the fault of European copyright law. Europe could adopt laws under which 2D reproductions of 2D originals do not acquire a separate copyright.

      As for the British library, it only has itself to blame for not letting other people scan its content. Don't try to turn the arrogance and possessiveness of the British library into Google's fault.

      • Don't try to turn the arrogance and possessiveness of the British library into Google's fault.

        I must have written part of my post in invisible ink. There's no, "And it's Google's fault!" The people who should be most ashamed of their behaviour are the British people for tolerating the behaviour of their recent governments, including organisations under government control, funding and/or protection.

        Of course, being given the opportunity to take advantage doesn't absolve you of the responsibility for taking it. Your moral obligation is to what is moral, not to what is legal. (Yes, corporations have no

        • by t2t10 (1909766)

          I must have written part of my post in invisible ink. There's no, "And it's Google's fault!"

          That is the usual implication of these complaints against Google from Europeans. If that wasn't your intent, it's a good idea to be clearer.

          The people who should be most ashamed of their behaviour are the British people for tolerating the behaviour of their recent governments,

          This isn't "recent" British governments. European copyright law has been messed up for at least a century, and Europeans imposed much of it o

        • by vaporland (713337)

          (Yes, corporations have no inherent morals. Yes, that's a problem.)

          When corporations were given the rights of individuals in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, we started down the road of corporate psychopathic oligarchy.

          An entity with fascist self interest and no concern for the individual can't really be blamed for pursuing it's goals to the exclusion of society's needs...

      • by Kirth (183)

        "Europe could adopt laws under which 2D reproductions of 2D originals do not acquire a separate copyright."

        Sorry, but this is already impossible. You do not get a copyright for a 2D reproduction of a (public domain) 2D original. Not in the USA, not in Europe. So google can't have any copyright on scans of public domain material. In fact, claiming otherwise would be fraud. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyfraud [wikipedia.org]

        • by t2t10 (1909766)

          That's incorrect. In Europe, you often acquire a copyright even for a 2D reproduction. Depending on the circumstances, this may be a totally new copyright or a more limited right.

          Furthermore, calling it "copyfraud" doesn't make it fraud; as your link itself points out: companies do it and they get away with it.

  • by Super Dave Osbourne (688888) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @07:30AM (#36567074)
    No law or treaty is being designed to help someone, all of them are being designed by special interest groups and bought by lobbyists to help some massive money mongering corporate machine.
  • Followed quickly by the Constitution of the United States, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, the Bible, the table of logarithms, and "Fanny Hill."

    • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @08:25AM (#36567380)
      Amusingly, as copyright terms under Berne are set on author's life plus a period that varies by jurisdiction (95 years in the US), and as the bible claims to have been either directly dictated by or derived from inspiration of God... if the bible's account of itsself is true, then it's still copyrighted. Conveniently for the believers though, it includes in the new testament an effective licence to copy and distribute. There's even a little bit right at the end of Revelation that prohibits unauthorised modification.
      • by Kjella (173770)

        Uh, no. The Bible comes from the Apostles and various other sources, none directly written by God. Just because I describe something you did in my book, it's still my copyright not yours. To the degree that there's direct quotes of Jesus that he could claim copyright on, well he died around 35 AD so 95 years after his death would be long ago. And finally if God claims he spoke through Jesus to the disciples from Heaven, well then Heaven hasn't signed the WIPO treaty so we don't recognize his copyright. Besi

        • by spauldo (118058)

          The religious argument is that God put the contents of the books in the heads of the people who wrote them down. It's basically the same as someone dictating to their secretary. That would make God the copyright owner, not the actual "authors" - it's considered the actual word of God.

          Nietzsche reported that God was dead in 1882, so the copyright should be expired by now.

  • Well, maybe it will if it is "sufficiently transformed," but exerts removing or undoing the "transformation" will still be declared outside the scope of the "new" copyright.

    A faithful re-broadcast of a film or soundtrack is no more tansformative than a photograph of a two-dimensional work, which does not generate a new copyright.

    Enhancing an existing work, such as overlaying ads or commentary, colorizing a film that was originally shot in black and white using a human editor to make difficult color choices

    • by iiiears (987462)

      Theory is a yellow brick road away from practice. See youtube

    • by Ken_g6 (775014)

      The other reason it won't pass constitutional muster is the "limited Times" clause. Suppose I form a broadcaster to broadcast all out-of-copyright work, all the time. The company then gets broadcast license for 50 years, assuming the clearly illegal "in perpetuity" isn't enacted. Then, as that 50-year window ends, I (or my children) can create a new company that gets a new broadcast license as the old company's broadcast license falls away, ad nauseum.

      Recall that the only reason the Supreme Court allowed

      • by davidwr (791652)

        Unfortunately, at least one recent or sitting Supreme Court justice thinks "limited time" means "forever less a day."

        Personally, I hope the Supreme Court eventually settles on something around or less than the human lifespan, then discarding that standard for a stricter one once the human lifespan becomes indefinitely expendable (I'd prefer a much shorter time - 50 years or so max - but the reality is Big Copyright will win copyright extensions in Congress into perpetuity unless stopped by the courts or the

    • As much as I think current copyright law is fucked (particularly with regard to orphaned works), there's a grain of sensibility to the idea of allowing copyright on aspects of a published/broadcast form. If I spend substantial amounts of time/money/resources scanning public-domain books into pdf, it's entirely reasonable that I should retain copyright over the literal pdf file, and even to images rendered directly from it. HOWEVER, if somebody else were to OCR and proofread those PDFs, or even type them fro

      • by davidwr (791652)

        Copyright is for creative works, not sweat-of-the-brow works.

        The Supreme Court has specifically said that "sweat of the brow" or other economic investment is not grounds to grant copyright protection.

  • Paint the fence once paid for a lifetime.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @09:32AM (#36567832) Homepage

    So, the first guy to broadcast something which has either had its copyright expire (or was never copyrighted) now owns it? That's fucking obscene.

    Wow, I can see this being a wonderful mechanism by which broadcasters can pretty much steal works just by broadcasting them. Just find something someone else did that is scheduled to become unprotected, sneak in and broadcast, and suddenly you own it for the next 75 years or whatever copyright is at now.

    I'm afraid that copyright has gotten completely out of control, and no longer serves the purpose it was created for. This is basically squatting, but made legal through copyright law.

    I feel very sad for future generations living in a climate where the corporations control every last thing, and have all of the laws on their side. I think lawmakers voting for this need to be boiled in oil -- more maybe something more evil.

  • by alfredo (18243) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @09:56AM (#36568096)
    When are we going to stand up to those corporate thieves. Not only do they want to possess all our money, now they want sole ownership of our culture. Fuck em!
    • If your idea of culture is "that which is broadcast by major media companies", then I pity your tiny world-view.
      • by alfredo (18243)
        I don't watch TV other than PBS, and my radio is NPR. Our folk music could become the property of the corporate world. That's what I am concerned about. I can imagine what will happen to the pro labor songs and poetry.
  • We, as a people, really have to stand up and fight against copyright [ucla.edu] if we want any kind of future for society.
    • by HiThere (15173)

      Propose something practical. Public domain is, apparently, not being protected.

      What it looks like to me is that GPL and Creative Commons are the correct approaches. That way the stuff is being continually "broadcast" with a (reasonably) permissive license. BSD, another approach, doesn't seem to have fared as well. Neither has the GFDL.

      But do note that it's unwise to put all your eggs in one basket. Any license can be overturned by legislative corruption. So another approach is also advisable. Defense

  • Copyrights were created to give artists incentives to create art, specifically writing books. Now it has been warped and twisted into this giant cow that corporate pigs suckle at getting fatter every day. The artists are still starving. Artists are starting to complain about copyright getting in the way of art. They need shorter duration and greater fair use. Our culture is slowly being strangled by excessive copyright and DRM will ensure our art is forgotten.
  • How did the stink get so powerful?

6 Curses = 1 Hexahex

Working...