14 September 2006

WIPO's Poison Cloud Draws Nearer

I've written before about the pernicious WIPO Broadcasting Treaty that is being discussed. Sadly, it's rumbling ever closer, and bringing with it a terrible cloud:

US industry was prominent at the meeting, as several representatives from information and communications technology (ICT) companies were there in opposition. Jeffrey Lawrence, director of digital home and content policy at Intel, said it would create a "whole cloud of liability issues."

"We have the patent cloud, the copyright cloud, and now we’re going to have a broadcast cloud," Lawrence said. He predicted such a treaty would "stifle innovation because it creates uncertainty." In addition, it has significant Internet ramifications, as it could impact cable and home networking, seen as critical to ICT industries. The movement of content is the "next killer application" for industries, he said. Lawrence called on industries to "stand up" to fight the treaty as it is proposed. Other opposed companies present at the meeting were Verizon and AT&T.

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