WIPO SCCR Meetings on Broadcasters Treaty
Statement of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union To SCCR 44 On the Proposed WIPO Broadcasting Treaty
- Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union is a broadcasting union representing the broadcasters in Asia-Pacific region, ABU greatly supports the work of the SCCR in view of adopting a WIPO Broadcasting Organizations Treaty.
- ABU takes this opportunity to thank for the hard work put in by the Chair, Vice-Chairs and Facilitators, for the work done in preparing the Third Revised Draft Text for the WIPO Broadcasting Organizations Treaty (document SCCR/44/3).
- Broadcasting organisations, being content creators, fulfill their important and special roles of contributing to the development of culture by producing and delivering information essential and crucial to people’s daily life as well as a variety of quality content. In order to fulfill the important and special roles and serve the public, broadcast organisations spend vast amounts of money in producing their content, as well as in broadcasting such content. The unauthorised use of broadcast signals in the broadcast industry results in massive damages of copyright piracy and loss of revenue generation because of the entities that retransmit their signals without authorization as well as payment to the owners of the broadcast signals. It has been harming broadcasting organisations’ operations and roles – all these phenomena are happening even just at this time of moment.
- Broadcasting organizations must therefore have the legal tools to act rapidly against the unauthorised use of their signal.
- We are quite ambitious that the Third Revised Text covers the principles necessary for the legal protection of programme-carrying signals on a global scale.
- ABU highlighted the pressing requirement of having a necessary international legal tool in the most recent two statements of ours released in May 2022 and March 2023.
- The new text takes into account the various legal traditions to provide efficient tools to fight piracy and, at the same time, ensures transparency and legal certainty when implementing the protection of broadcasting organizations at the domestic level and it is a balanced instrument aimed at protecting the programme-carrying signal.
- The ABU most humbly requests from WIPO Member States to move forward the discussions and reach a consensus on key outstanding issues in order to finalize the text of a WIPO Broadcasting Organisations Treaty.
- As stated in the two aforementioned statements, ABU urges that the WIPO General Assembly to convene a Diplomatic Conference to adopt this treaty as soon as possible in 2024/2025 biennium.
- Lastly, ABU wishes the Chair every success in leading this SCCR and assures its full support in this connection.
CALL FOR ACTION BY ASIA-PACIFIC BROADCASTING UNION ON PROPOSED BROADCASTING TREATY
- Broadcast piracy in the Asia-Pacific region has reached epic proportions. Nearly every large broadcaster in the Asia-Pacific region has been a victim of broadcast piracy in some form or the other. The surge in increase in incidents of broadcast piracy is particularly visible in the post COVID-19 era as there has been demands for quality content and enhancement improvements in technologies which facilitate broadcast piracy and signal theft. Broadcast piracy severely impacts the operations of broadcasting organisations as there is little respect for the underlying content and the programme carrying signal. Content cannot exist without programme carrying signal. In simpler terms, content and program carrying signal work hand-in-hand and are complementary to each other. Broadcast piracy is particularly problematic for ABU members irrespective of the type (public or privately owned) or the size of the broadcasting organisation. For example, a broadcaster based in the remote Pacific Islands can suffer more due to the fact that they neither have the technical nor the legal expertise to combat broadcast piracy. Hence, the broadcasting treaty to protect broadcast signal from piracy is an urgent need of the hour.Recognising the urgent need for finalising the broadcasting treaty, (as outlined in the Joint Declaration On Signal Piracy Issued by ABU in 2022), ABU and its members call upon the following call of action ahead of SCCR/43:
- Governments in the Asia-Pacific region should reaffirm the importance of the proposed broadcasting treaty by vocally expressing the need to convene a diplomatic conference as soon as possible.
- Hold national seminars on the main provisions of the broadcasting treaty text for governments in the Asia-Pacific region.