Saturday, September 09, 2006

UN Treaty to Stifle Free Speech

Cory Doctorow published an article Saturday on Boing Boing about a treaty that the UN's World Intellectual Property Organization is drafting that threatens the fledgling podcasting industry. It aims to give broadcasters more rights to control works that they do not own. The treaty also creates a new tier of copyright confusion for podcasters. The result of this treaty will be for countries to enact the provisions into law, and podcasters will have less rights to use non-infringing material in their podcasts than they do now. Innovation will be stifled and the only beneficiaries will be the traditional media and large Internet companies like Yahoo!, Google, and Microsoft that can afford to license and pay for the content.

The EFF has prepared an open letter rejecting the webcasting right. This treaty smacks of intervention by old school broadcasters trying to protect their business models. The WIPO is suppose to protect intellectual property creators, not provide shields for big business. Find out more about the open letter to be submitted to the next WIPO treaty committee meeting on Monday. If you are a podcaster or organization supporting podcasting, there is a link for you to sign the letter.