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Plans For New Broadcasting Rights Anger Podcasters


Podcasting - alarm spreading over proposed new copyright legislationThe UK is backing a controversial new broadcasting treaty that opponents say gives big media companies new rights over content. The UK joins the US, the BBC, Yahoo! and other nations and firms supporting WIPO's draft Broadcasting Treaty. Intellectual property campaigners and podcasters oppose the new treaty. They claim that it puts more control over content in the hands of big business.


Separately, webcasters and podcasters are worried about WIPO extending broadcasting rules to the internet. In May WIPO agreed to take out provisions relating to webcasting from the treaty. They have appeared in the draft treaty ahead of today's conference as a 'non-mandatory appendix on the protection in relation to webcasting'. The conference itself is called 'From The Rome Convention to Podcasting'.

  "If I say my work has to be free in perpetuity, then it has to be free in perpetuity"

"They had previously agreed to leave podcasting out to get its own legislation. Now it's pretty clear they are going to put it back in," said Dean Whitbread, chairman of the UK Podcasters' Association.

Podcasters are worried that material which they disseminate under free use licences can be re-published by broadcasters' web operations. They argue that under the treaty that organisation then has certain rights over any copies of that re-published version of their work.

"If I say my work has to be free in perpetuity, then it has to be free in perpetuity," said Whitbread.

Many podcasters publish under 'Creative Commons' licences which allow unlimited publishing and forwarding free of charge under certain conditions, notably that the material is always free, or that it is always credited. Podcasters argue that the treaty, if applied to the internet, could threaten that right.

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