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Important Statement to Review for Signing

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  • Seth Johnson
    Hello folks, Please review the important joint statement below, related to the WIPO Broadcaster s Treaty, and consider adding your signature if you are an
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2006
      Hello folks,

      Please review the important joint statement below, related to the
      WIPO Broadcaster's Treaty, and consider adding your signature if
      you are an American citizen. Also make sure those you know who
      should sign are also given the opportunity.

      Andy Oram has written a good letter to the US Delegation to WIPO
      on the subject:
      > http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/etel/2006/01/13/the-problem-with-webcasting.html?page=2

      CPTech Links on the Treaty:
      > http://www.cptech.org/ip/wipo/bt/index.html#Coments
      Electronic Frontier Foundation Links:
      > http://www.eff.org/IP/WIPO/broadcasting_treaty/
      IP Justice Links:
      > http://www.ipjustice.org/WIPO/broadcasters.shtml
      Union for the Public Domain Links:
      > http://www.public-domain.org/?q=node/47

      The Latest Draft of the Treaty:
      > http://www.cptech.org/ip/wipo/sccr12.2rev2.doc

      A survey of relevant links:
      > http://www.hyperorg.com/blogger/mtarchive/wipo_and_the_war_against_the_i.html

      If you choose to sign, please send your name along with an
      affiliation or appropriate short phrase to attach to your name
      for identification purposes, to mailto:seth.p.johnson@....
      If your organization endorses the statement, please indicate that
      separately, so your organization will be listed under that

      Thank you for consideration.

      Seth Johnson
      Corresponding Secretary
      New Yorkers for Fair Use

      Joint Statement to Congress:

      Dear (Relevant Congressional Committees) (cc the WIPO

      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 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

      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.)

      William Abernathy, Independent Technical Editor
      Scottie D. Arnett, President, Info-Ed, Inc.
      Jonathan Askin, Pulver.com
      John Bachir, Ibiblio.org
      Tom Barger, DMusic.com
      Fred Benenson, FreeCulture.org
      Daniel Berninger, VON Coalition
      Eric Blossom, GNU Radio
      Joshua Breitbart, Media Tank
      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
      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
      Walt Crawford, Editor/Publisher, Cites & Insights
      Cynthia H. de Lorenzi, Washington Bureau for ISP Advocacy
      Cory Doctorow, Author, journalist, Fulbright Chair, EFF
      Marshall Eubanks, CEO, AmericaFree.tv
      Harold Feld, Senior Vice President, Media Access Project
      Miles R. Fidelman, President, The Center for Civic Networking
      Richard Forno (bio: http://www.infowarrior.org/rick.html)
      Laura N. Gasaway, Professor of Law, University of North
      Paul Gherman, University Librarian, Vanderbilt University
      Shubha Ghosh, Professor of Law, Southern Methodist University
      Paul Ginsparg, Cornell University
      Fred R. Goldstein, Ionary Consulting
      Robin Gross, IP Justice
      Michael Gurstein, New Jersey Institute for Technology
      Jon Hall, President, Linux International
      Chuck Hamaker, Atkins Library, University of North Carolina -
      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 Responsibility
      David S. Isenberg, Ph.D., Founder & CEO, isen.com, LLC
      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
      Jerry Kang, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
      Dennis S. Karjala, Jack E. Brown Professor of Law, Arizona
      State University
      Dan Krimm, Independent Musician
      Michael J. Kurtz, Astronomer and Computer Scientist, Harvard-
      Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
      Michael Maranda, President, Association For Community
      Kevin Marks, mediAgora
      Anthony McCann, www.beyondthecommons.com
      Sascha Meinrath, Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network,
      Free Press
      Edmund Mierzwinski, Consumer Program Director, U.S. Public
      Interest Research Group
      Lee N. Miller, Ph.D., Editor Emeritus, Ecological Society of
      John Mitchell, InteractionLaw
      Tom Moritz, Chief, Knowledge Managment, Getty Research
      Andrew Odlyzko, University of Minnesota
      Ken Olthoff, Advisory Board, EFF Austin
      Andy Oram, Editor, O'Reilly Media
      Bruce Perens (bio at http://perens.com/Bio.html)
      Ian Peter, Senior Partner, Ian Peter and Associates Pty Ltd
      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
      Lawrence Rosen, Rosenlaw & Einschlag; Stanford University
      Lecturer in Law
      Bruce Schneier, security technologist and CTO, Counterpane
      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
      Aaron Swartz, infogami
      Stephen H. Unger, Professor, Computer Science Department,
      Columbia University
      Eric F. Van de Velde, Ph.D., Director, Library Information
      Technology, California Institute of Technology
      Tom Vogt, independent computer security researcher
      David Weinberger, Harvard Berkman Center
      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
      Free Press
      Free Software Foundation
      Illinois Community Technology Coalition
      Internet Archive
      Ionary Consulting
      IP Justice
      isen.com, LLC
      New Yorkers for Fair Use
      Old Colorado City Communications
      Rosenlaw & Einschlag
      U.S. Public Interest Research Group
      Washington Bureau for ISP Advocacy


      [separate one-page attachment]


      If Congress were to hold public hearings, or if the US delegation
      to WIPO were to publish the current proposal for public review
      and comment, myriad voices from various segments of society could
      come forward to show that the proposed Broadcaster's Treaty:

      * Is written to look like existing copyright treaties, but it
      is not based on the constitutional requirements for
      copyright protection, such as originality, and in fact is
      antagonistic to copyrights

      * Is promoted as a way of standardizing existing signal
      protection, but in fact extends well beyond signal
      protection by giving broadcasters and webcasters a monopoly,
      for 50 years, over the content created by others the moment
      it is broadcast or transmitted over the Internet

      * Gives broadcasters greater rights than producers of original

      * Accords exclusive rights to non-authors in direct violation
      of fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution

      * Attacks the principle of network neutrality which serves as
      the basis by which the Internet has fostered a profound
      expansion in human capacities and innovation

      * Grants privileges that extend beyond broadcast signals to
      actually give broadcasters control over works conveyed
      within a broadcast -- including copyrighted and public
      domain works

      * Blocks fair use and other copyright provisions that enable
      the public to make use of and benefit from published

      * Chills freedom of expression by extending unwarranted
      controls over broadcast publication

      * Benefits broadcasters at the expense of the web, the public
      and future innovation

      * Creates a de facto tax on copyrights, freedom of speech,
      communications and technological progress, all for the
      benefit of broadcasters and webcasters who have added
      nothing to deserve such a windfall.
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