NAB says it's trying to set the record straight in regards to a proposed World Intellectual Property Organization treaty designed to combat international piracy of broadcast signals and update broadcasters' rights.
NAB President/CEO David Rehr sent a letter to Jon Dudas, under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and another letter to Marybeth Peters, register of copyrights for the Library of Congress, about the issue. Broadcaster rights at the international level have not been updated for over 45 years, and "this treaty is of critical importance to the preservation of free, over-the-air broadcasting both in the U.S. and abroad," said Rehr in the document.
Thirty-six companies, public-interest groups and non-profit associations declared opposition to the proposed WIPO treaty earlier this week, including RadioShack, Dell, Public Knowledge, CEA and the Media Access Project.
A session on the treaty is scheduled for Sept. 11-13 at WIPO in Geneva, where a set of draft treaty proposals will be considered and a consensus on many issues will be sought. The next crucial step would be for WIPO's General Assembly meeting later in September to agree to convene a diplomatic conference sometime in 2007, according to NAB.