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[Discuss-gnuradio] WIPO Treaty would Break Network Neutrality

From: Eric Blossom
Subject: [Discuss-gnuradio] WIPO Treaty would Break Network Neutrality
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2006 20:45:28 -0800
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

This is worth reading.  Skip down to the Joint Statement if you're in
a hurry.  Basically, "webcasters" are trying to create new monopoly
powers beyond copyright, and are trying to get it done via an
international treaty in order to avoid any real congressional or
public participation.




March 15, 2006

Contact: Eric Hensal
         Phone: 202-262-9152

WHAT:    Press Conference on WIPO Broadcasters Treaty

         The US Delegation to WIPO is pursuing a treaty that
           - directly undermine network neutrality
           - serve as a legal basis that could oblige the US 
             government to mandate a "broadcast flag" requirement 
             on privately-owned VCRs and computers

         Just as legislators are taking up these issues, this 
         international policy instrument is being pursued through 
         treaty-making processes under the Executive Branch.  The 
         power to develop copyright and communications policy is 
         explicitly assigned to Congress under Article I, Section 
         8 of the US Constitution.

         Consumer Project for Technology links on the
         Broadcasters Treaty:

WHEN:    March 15th at 2:00 pm.

WHERE:   Nearby the CEA Entertainment Technology Policy Summit, 
         taking place concurrently at the Ronald Reagan 
         International Trade Center.

         ASAE Center for Association Leadership
         Phone: (202) 326-9550
         Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
         1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
         Washington, DC 20004 USA
         Entrances on 14th Street and at 13th & Pennsylvania Ave

         The Federal Triangle metro stop (blue and orange lines) 
         connects to the International Trade Center by covered 
         passageway. The Center will be on your immediate right
         as you enter.

WHO:     Various signers of this joint statement to Congress, 
         including spokespersons from New Yorkers for Fair Use, 
         Interactionlaw, Computer Professionals for Social 
         Responsibility, Alliance for Community Media, Washington 
         Bureau for ISP Advocacy and Daniel Golding of the Burton 
DETAIL:  The Broadcasters Treaty creates a new set of exclusive 
         rights that would apply to the medium over which 
         broadcasts are transmitted -- including the Internet 
         transport.  These rights include a new "exclusive right 
         to authorize fixations" which is ill-suited for the 
         Internet.  The treaty will break network neutrality and 
         will establish a legal basis for the broadcast flag, at
         a time when these issues have finally been taken up by 
         Congress.  In fact, the treaty would establish the legal 
         basis for pervasive end-to-end content control that can 
         reach all the way across the network, through privately-
         owned computers, to analog input/output jacks.


Joint Statement to Congress and Members of the US Delegation to
WIPO on the Broadcasters Treaty

> http://www.nyfairuse.org/action/wipo.xcast/xcast.jointstatement.xhtml

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary
U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce
U.S. House Committee on Science
U.S. House Committee on Small Business
U.S. House Committee on International Relations
U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

(Full list of House and Senate Committee recipients listed below)

Dear Chairpersons and Ranking Members:

Negotiations are currently underway at the World Intellectual
Property Organization (WIPO) to develop a treaty giving
broadcasters power to suppress currently lawful communications.
The United States delegation is also advocating similar rights
for "webcasters" through which the authors of new works
communicate them to the public.

Some provisions of the proposed "Treaty on the Protection of
Broadcasting Organizations" would merely update and standardize
existing legal norms, but several proposals would require
Congress to enact sweeping new laws that give private parties
control over information, communication, and even copyrighted
works of others, whenever they have broadcast or "webcast" the

The novel policy areas addressed by this treaty go beyond
ordinary treaty-making that seeks worldwide adherence to U.S.
policy. Instead, this initiative invades Congress' prerogative to
develop and establish national policy.  Indeed, even as Congress
is debating how best to protect network neutrality, treaty
negotiators are debating how to eliminate it.

The threat to personal liberties presented by this treaty is too
grave to allow these new policy initiatives to be handed over to
an unelected delegation to negotiate with foreign countries,
leaving Congress with the sole option whether to acquiesce.  When
dealing with policies that are related to copyright and
communications, Congress's assigned powers and responsibility
under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution become
particularly important.  We urge two important steps.  First, the
new proposed regulations should be published in the Federal
Register, with an invitation to the public to comment. Second,
the appropriate House and Senate committees should hold hearings
to more fully explore the impact of these novel legal
restrictions on commerce, freedom of speech, copyright holders,
network neutrality, and communications policy.

Americans currently enjoy substantial freedoms with respect to
broadcast and webcast communications.  Under the proposed treaty,
the existing options available to commercial enterprises and
entrepreneurs as well as the general public to communicate news,
information and entertainment would be limited by a new private
gatekeeper who adds nothing of value to the content.
Communications policies currently under discussion at the FCC
would be impacted.  Individuals and small businesses would be
limited in their freedom of speech.  Copyright owners would find
their freedom to license their works limited by whether the work
had been broadcast or webcast.  The principle of network
neutrality, already the subject of congressional hearings, would
be all but destroyed.

As able as the staff of the United States Patent and Trademark
Office and the Library of Congress may be, it was never intended
that they alone should stake out the United States national
policy to be promoted before an unelected international body in
entirely new areas abridging civil liberties. Congress should be
the first to establish America's national policies in this new
area so that our WIPO delegation will have sufficient guidance to
achieve legitimate objectives without impairing Constitutional
principles such as freedom of speech and assembly, without
impairing the value of copyrights, and without granting to
private parties arbitrary power to suppress existing freedoms or
burden new technologies.

We cannot afford for Congress to wait for the Senate to be
presented with a fully formed treaty calling for the enacting of
domestic law at odds with fundamental American liberties foreign
to American and international legal norms, and that would bring
to a close many of the benefits of widespread personal computing
and the end-to-end connectivity brought by the Internet.  We ask
Congress to use its authority now to shape these important
communications policies impacting constitutionally based
copyright laws and First Amendment liberties.
(Affiliations for individual signers are for identification
only.  Endorsing organizations are listed separately below.)
     William Abernathy, Independent Technical Editor
     Anthony Aiello, Development Editor, Reference Division, 
        Oxford University Press
     Moe Lawrence Aitel, PE, CEO A-TECH Engineering
     David G. Andersen, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, 
        Carnegie Mellon University
     Scottie D. Arnett, President, Info-Ed, Inc.
     Jonathan Askin, Pulver.com
     John Bachir, Ibiblio.org
     Tom Barger, DMusic.com
     Fred Benenson, FreeCulture.org
     Josh Berkus, PostgreSQL Project
     Daniel Berninger, VON Coalition
     Eric Blossom, GNU Radio
     Joshua Breitbart, Media Tank
     Daniel Bricklin, bricklin.com, co-creator of VisiCalc 
     Dave Burstein, Editor, DSL Prime
     Michael Calabrese, Vice President, New America Foundation
     Dave A. Chakrabarti, Community Technologist, CTCNet Chicago
     Steven Cherry, Senior Associate Editor, IEEE Spectrum
     Andrew Clausen, economics PhD student
     Steven Clift, Publicus.Net
     Roland J. Cole, J.D., Ph.D., Executive Director, Software 
        Patent Institute
     Gordon Cook, Editor, Publisher and Owner since 1992 of the 
        COOK Report on Internet Protocol
     Kees Cook, kernel.org
     Walt Crawford, Editor/Publisher, Cites & Insights
     Chris Dashiell, Film Critic, cinescene.com
     Cynthia H. de Lorenzi, Washington Bureau for ISP Advocacy
     Cory Doctorow, Author, journalist, Fulbright Chair, EFF 
     Marshall Eubanks, CEO, AmericaFree.tv
     David J. Farber, Carnegie Mellon University, University of 
     Harold Feld, Senior Vice President, Media Access Project
     Miles R. Fidelman, President, The Center for Civic 
     Richard Forno  (bio: http://www.infowarrior.org/rick.html)
     Jim Fruchterman, President, Benetech
     Anthony W. Gallipeau, IT Specialist, Newell/Rubbermaid
     Laura N. Gasaway, Professor of Law, University of North 
     Paul Gherman, University Librarian, Vanderbilt University
     Shubha Ghosh, Professor of Law, Southern Methodist 
     Paul Ginsparg, Cornell University
     Daniel Golding, Senior Industry Analyst, Burton Group, 
     Fred R. Goldstein, Ionary Consulting
     Robert Gregory, I. T. Manager, Community Action 
     Robin Gross, IP Justice
     Shaun Gummere, Director of Web Services & Lecturer in Web 
        Design, Simmons College
     Michael Gurstein, New Jersey Institute of Technology
     Jon Hall, President, Linux International
     Chuck Hamaker, Atkins Library, University of North Carolina 
        - Charlotte
     Charles M. Hannum, consultant, founder of The NetBSD Project
     Dewayne Hendricks, CEO, Dandin Group
     David R Hughes, CEO, Old Colorado City Communications, 1993 
        EFF Pioneer Award
     Paul Hyland, Computer Professionals for Social 
     David S. Isenberg, Ph.D., Founder & CEO, isen.com, LLC
     Charles Jackson, Adjunct Professor of Electrical and 
        Computer Engineering, George Washington University
     Robert Jacobson, Ph.D., Independent Scholar and Editor, 
        Information Design
     Saleem Jahangeer, Ph.D.
     Stuart Jansen, www.DevUtah.com
     Seth Johnson, New Yorkers for Fair Use
     Paul Jones, School of Information and Library Science, 
        University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
     Peter D. Junger, Professor of Law Emeritus, Case Western 
        Reserve University
     Brewster Kahle, Internet Archive
     Cem Kaner, J.D., Ph.D., Professor of Software Engineering, 
        Florida Institute of Technology
     Jerry Kang, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
     Dennis S. Karjala, Jack E. Brown Professor of Law, Arizona 
        State University
     Ken Katkin, Associate Professor of Law, Salmon P. Chase 
        College of Law
     Dan Krimm, Independent Musician
     Michael J. Kurtz, Astronomer and Computer Scientist, 
        Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
     Bruce Kushnick, chairman, Teletruth
     Jonathan Lawson, Reclaim the Media
     Edward Lee, Assistant Professor of Law, The Ohio State 
        University, Moritz College of Law
     Andrew Lippman, Senior Research Scientist, MIT Media Lab
     Michael Maranda, President, Association For Community 
     Kevin Marks, mediAgora
     Anthony McCann, www.beyondthecommons.com
     Sean McLaughlin, founder, Hawaii Consumers
     Kembrew McLeod, Associate Professor, Dept. of Communication, 
        University of Iowa
     Sascha Meinrath, Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless 
        Network, Free Press
     Wilson Michaels, Software Developer (Retired)
     Edmund Mierzwinski, Consumer Program Director, U.S. Public 
        Interest Research Group
     Lee N. Miller, Ph.D., Editor Emeritus, Ecological Society of 
     Edward Mills, Independent Technology Consultant
     John Mitchell, InteractionLaw
     Tom Moritz, Chief, Knowledge Management, Getty Research 
     Milton L. Mueller, Internet Governance Project
     Andrew Odlyzko, University of Minnesota
     Ken Olthoff, Advisory Board, EFF Austin
     Andy Oram, Editor, O'Reilly Media
     Dave Pentecost, documentary television producer
     Bruce Perens (bio at http://perens.com/Bio.html)
     Ian Peter, Senior Partner, Ian Peter and Associates Pty Ltd
     Jan L. Peterson, Software Developer
     Steve Peterson, Independent Software Consultant
     Malla Pollack, Law Professor, American Justice School of Law
     Jeff Pulver, Pulver.com
     Tom Raftery, PodLeaders.com
     David P. Reed, contributor to original Internet Protocol 
     Jerome H. Reichman, Bunyan S. Womble Professor of Law
     Anthony Riddle, Executive Director, Alliance for Community 
     Lawrence Rosen, Rosenlaw & Einschlag; Stanford University 
        Lecturer in Law
     Bruce Schneier, security technologist and CTO, Counterpane
     Charles D. Seaman, Citizen of the United States, Marietta, 
     Peter M. Shane, Ohio State University
     Clay Shirky, Interactive Telecommunications Program, NYU
     David J. Smith, Specialist of Distributed Content 
        Distribution and Protocols, Michigan State University
     Michael E. Smith, LXNY
     Richard Stallman, President, Free Software Foundation
     Fred Stutzman, Ph.D. Student, UNC Chapel Hill
     Peter Suber, Open Access Project Director, Public Knowledge
     Jay Sulzberger, New Yorkers for Fair Use
     Penelope A. Swanson, Head, Cataloguing Division, SFU
     Aaron Swartz, infogami
     Bernard G. Tomasso, Librarian (Retired), Port Byron (NY) 
        Central School
     Rahul Tongia, Ph.D., Systems Scientist, School of Computer 
        Science (ISRI) / Dept. of Engineering & Public Policy, 
        Carnegie Mellon University
     Stephen H. Unger, Professor, Computer Science Department, 
        Columbia University
     Jennifer Urban, University of Southern California, Gould 
        School of Law
     Eric F. Van de Velde, Ph.D., Director, Library Information 
        Technology, California Institute of Technology
     Tom Vogt, independent computer security researcher
     Quinn Weaver, Fairpath Communications
     David Weinberger, Harvard Berkman Center
     Moshe Weitzman, Open Source Software Developer
     Frannie Wellings, Free Press
     Adam Werbach, President, Ironweed Films
     Stephen Wolff, igewolff.net
     Brett Wynkoop, Wynn Data Ltd.
     John Young, Cryptome.org

Endorsing Organizations:

     Association For Community Networking (AFCN)
     The Center for Civic Networking
     Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
     Contact Communications
     The COOK Report on Internet Protocol
     Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network
     Dandin Group
     Fairpath Communications
     Free Press
     Free Software Foundation
     Hawaii Consumers
     Illinois Community Technology Coalition
     Internet Archive
     Ionary Consulting
     IP Justice
     isen.com, LLC
     New Yorkers for Fair Use
     Old Colorado City Communications
     Prometheus Radio Project
     Reclaim the Media
     Rosenlaw & Einschlag
     U.S. Public Interest Research Group
     Washington Bureau for ISP Advocacy

Please contact:

Seth Johnson
New Yorkers for Fair Use
275 Fort Washington Avenue, Suite 3C
New York, NY 10032
(212) 543-4266

Full list of Committee Recipients:

U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary
     Subcommittee on the Courts, the Internet and Intellectual 
     Subcommittee on the Constitution
     Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law
U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce
     Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet
     Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection
U.S. House Committee on Science
     Subcommittee on Research
     Subcommittee on Environment, Technology and Standards
U.S. House Committee on Small Business
     Subcommittee on Rural Enterprises, Agriculture and 
U.S. House Committee on International Relations
     Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
     Subcommittee on Intellectual Property
     Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property 
     Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer 
U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
     Subcommittee on Science and Space
     Subcommittee on Technology, Innovation and Competitiveness
     Subcommittee on Trade, Tourism and Economic Development
U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
     Subcommittee on International Economic Policy Export and 
        Trade Promotion

cc:  Representative Rick Boucher
     Senator John Sununu
     Senator Ron Wyden
     United States Delegation to the World Intellectual Property

     Michael Keplinger, Senior Counselor, Office of Legislative 
        and International Affairs, US Patent and Trademark Office
     Jule Sigall, Associate Register for Policy and International 
        Affairs, U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress
     Ann Chaitovitz, Attorney-Advisor, Office of International 
        Relations, US Patent and Trademark Office
     Malla Poor, Attorney-Advisor, Office of Policy and 
        International Affairs, U.S. Copyright Office, Library of 


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