22 June 2007

WIPO Webcast Wipe-Out?

Good news, it seems:

World Intellectual Property Organization negotiations for a treaty on rights for broadcasters broke down at the eleventh hour, according to participating government officials. A high-level final treaty negotiation scheduled for November will not take place, they said.

This was a treaty that would have effectively killed fair use for "webcasting" - essentially distributing media files online. There's still a slight danger that the wicked WIPO witch isn't quite dead:

Government sources stopped short of calling the treaty talks dead forever, saying that proponents might still propose a way to resume the talks in the future.

Fingers crossed.

Update: My characterisation of the threat is ill-expressed at best, and downright wrong at worst. Try Ars Technica for something better.

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