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Television Government Media The Internet United States Politics

Senators Smack Down WIPO Broadcast Treaty 100

Posted by kdawson
from the read-my-lips-no-new-rights dept.
Tighthead writes "Two influential US senators want the US to support a pared-down version of the WIPO Broadcast Treaty that is still being negotiated. In a letter sent to the US delegation, Sen. Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the ranking Republican member, Arlen Specter, expressed their concerns that the Broadcast Treaty 'would needlessly create a new layer of rights that would disrupt United States copyright law.' They instructed the US delegates to work towards a treaty that is 'significantly narrower in scope, one that would provide no more protection than that necessary to protect the signals of broadcasters.' The next meeting of the WIPO Standing Committee will be in June."
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Senators Smack Down WIPO Broadcast Treaty

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday March 08, 2007 @09:16AM (#18275674)
    If this is an internet issue, we should all wait until Senator Ted Stevens weighs in before deciding what to do next.

    -Eric

    • by Kadin2048 (468275) <`ten.yxox' `ta' `nidak.todhsals'> on Thursday March 08, 2007 @11:32AM (#18277372) Homepage Journal
      Joking aside, this is far bigger than an "internet issue;" it's a Copyright issue, and that means it's going to affect not only the internet, but virtually all types of media. When people start re-jiggering Copyright, they're manipulating the foundations that underlie (or undermine, depending on your point of view) our shared culture.

      The proposed "broadcast copyright" that's being debated by WIPO would be an absolute disaster. It would probably be the most fundamental change in U.S. law since it was first laid down, because it would basically allow for re-copyrighting of a work without any creative input or modification.

      Right now, if I take a work and simply reproduce it without any modifications at all, there's no additional copyright added. Thus, a photo-reproduction of an old work, like the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, is still public domain. It's only when I start doing something to it, that it becomes a new work, and subject to another 100+ years of protection. What the draft WIPO treaty would change, is that simply by reproducing/transmitting, a new layer of copyright would be created. So if I "broadcasted" the 1911 Encyclopedia to you, suddenly it wouldn't just have the expired 1911 copyright on it, it would also have my 2007 copyright on the "broadcast."

      As long as you kept the originals locked away somewhere, so that the only way people could ever witness them was via a "broadcast," and then you didn't allow them to record or store those broadcasts, you could effectively extend copyright forever.
      • Should read:

        It would probably be the most fundamental change in U.S. copyright law...
        Let's keep things realistic.
      • I agree with your assessment of the situation that would ensue. But I think the net effect (pun intended) would basically be that a whole new generation of creators use CC or other sharing-friendly licenses for their work. Also, these creators would more-or-less *only be looking to free culture for input material -- it just wouldn't be worth the legal wrangling to figure out how one can use/remix/etc. a conventionally-copyrighted work.

        Since we're talking about big pictures, I could see a real "fork" develop
        • While there might be some sort of "forking" as a result of this, and I also consider myself a fan of the free-culture movement, I'm not sure that I think it's even close to acceptable to basically write off our entire culture prior to today. Because that's pretty much what it would come down to: the "public domain" as we know it would disappear, probably bought up at great cost by people who wanted to horde it and dole it out as 'broadcasts.' Just think: if you could round up all the extant copies of someth
  • by Lumpy (12016)
    'would needlessly create a new layer of rights that would disrupt United States copyright law.'

    If that is not the proof all of you need to get a angry mob together to stand in front of the capitol building with torches and pitchforks demanding the heads of these to terrorists I don't know what is.

    The fact that these terrorists were ever elected into our government throughly disgusts me.

    yes, I am calling them terrorists, they are doing far more harm to the United states than all of the physical terrorists
    • by Krinsath (1048838) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @09:26AM (#18275768)
      Actually from reading the article, it appears that they're concerned about adding a layer of rights to the *broadcasters* not to the creators. What they're saying is that US law only recognizes the creators of content, not the distributor (which is in essence what a lot of broadcasters are). There was talk about the treaty giving broadcasters IP rights to public domain works effectively as well as very long protections on broadcasts. From the article: "The Revised Draft Broadcasting Treaty appears to grant broadcasters extensive new, exclusive rights in their transmissions for a term of at least 20 years, regardless of whether they have a right in the content they are transmitting," Those would be the rights they are concerned about adding to the mix, and in this case I can't disagree with them. No, you shouldn't have your signal stolen so that others can profit off of your labor, but similar you should not be able gain rights to something you didn't create in the first place. Imagine if that idea was applied to the Internet...that whoever was simply hosting the content gained any sort of rights to that content for their own sale and redistribution. Somewhat scary to think about there...
      • by stinerman (812158)

        whoever was simply hosting the content gained any sort of rights to that content for their own sale and redistribution
        Worse yet, every company who passed on a packet of data could claim rights. Owning stock in level 1 ISPs is looking really good right now. They'd have rights to pretty much everything on Youtube.
    • not citizen rights.
      I swear, you terrorists that don't read the article do more damage to slashdot than all of the physical terrorists have ever done.
    • The best definition of "Terrorist" I've ever heard was: "The use, or threat of use, of violence to pursue a political, ideological, or religious change when a non-violent option exists."

      While the special interest groups and senators behind this bill are a bunch of greedy bastards, they are hardly using a threat of violence to achieve their goal.

      The Bush administration on the other hand has used violence and the continued threat of violence ("fighting over there so we don't have to fight over here") to incre
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by operagost (62405)
        What non-violent option was there to kick the Taliban out of Afghanistan or Saddam and his sons and cronies out of Iraq?
        • Not sure where you're going with that one. As for getting the Taliban out of Afghanistan, there really wasn't a good non-violent option, thus it was a traditional war. In the case of Saddam however, it's a little fuzzier. Saddam was so heavily sanctioned and monitored, it's not like he had any power to commit the same atrocities as he had in the past. He wasn't an international threat. And the people of his country, albeit stifled, lived in relative peace with one another. So if the goal was to remove Sadda
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by gtall (79522)
            How blind can you be. The only people who lived in peace under Saddam were his tribal Sunni cronies. If you were a Kurd or a Shi'ite, you could be killed for no good reason. You didn't hear about it much was because it was a cause the western press could get behind. Oh, but let those naughty Americans call Saddam on it and then the Americans are terrorists.
            • by RingDev (879105)
              Hey, thanks for the response (and the AC who posted also)! I have never been to Iraq, I did my time in the US Marine Corps, but I missed both wars there. The very few Iraqi people I have talked to personally portrayed a slightly better situations, but I have no idea what part of the country they were from, nor to which religious faction they belonged. By 'Relative Peace' I was not implying that everything was suburbia Illinois, so much as that walking to your local market in a Shi'ite neighborhood would not
            • by TeraCo (410407)
              I trust you and believe your story in the way that only an anonymous coward can be trusted.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by cdrguru (88047)
            The problem with the sanctions for Iraq was that they had maybe 6 months left before France and every other EU country voted to eliminate them. Some folks in the US government thought they had run their course as well, because it was pretty clear that the sanctions weren't working. Saddam got richer and built more palaces while his people starved.

            The whole "Oil for Food" program was a joke as well and certainly eliminated any effect the sanctions had on Saddam and his friends.

            So, the floodgates were about
            • by RingDev (879105)
              "With Saddam having access to even more cash and no limits on trade and no more monitoring, what do you think would have happened?"

              I could see it going one of 3 ways:

              1) Nothing really changes, Saddam gets richer and richer, there is a limited, yet brutal abuse of non-Sunnis. While this situation isn't great, it's a hell of a lot better than many other parts of the world.
              2) Saddam starts up a military missile program along with nuclear and chemical warhead research and manufacturing. At which point the UN wo
        • Terrorist - noun

          1. a person, usually a member of a group, who uses or advocates terrorism.

          2. a person who terrorizes or frightens others.

          3. a magic word of american origin invoked to negate all logic and facts in any argument.

        • by MrYotsuya (27522)
          What non-violent option was there to kick the Taliban out of Afghanistan or Saddam and his sons and cronies out of Iraq?

          The non-violent option was to not fund or support either in the first place.
        • See, you made the leap already.

          Here is the equation:

          Problem: Islamic terrorists threaten the US

          Goal: Stop Islamic terrorists from threatening the US.

          OK, now the question lies in whether or not there is a way to stop islamic terrorists from threatening the US.

          The question IS NOT "how do we kick Sadam out of Iraq". In fact, "kick Sadam out of Iraq" is more on the solution end than on the question end.

          But there are alternatives other than "kick Sadam out of Iraq".

          I am not saying that I disagree that this is
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Curunir_wolf (588405)
      Maybe since you have absolutely no idea what the proposed WIPO treaty is calling for, and apparently no interest in educating yourself, you should refrain from commenting.

      Oh, wait, I forgot - it's Slashdot.

      I'll forgive your ignorance, but it's even more disconcerting that the mods apparently just as ignorant.

      Here's a clue - this is a *good* thing. If you think you can get an angry mod together to protest that broadcasters should be able to claim copyright on public domain works, then, please, go righ

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by vivaoporto (1064484)
        ."Frankly, I would prefer that more limits were imposed on the rights of copyright owners and broadcasters, not more."

        Me too! Although more limits on the rights of copyright owners is something unavoidable, the right measure would be to put more limits. The tough choice, after all, must be made by the Senate: more limits or more limits. I for one root for the latter, not for the latter.
  • It is a little disingenuous to call Arlen "Magic Bullet" Specter a Republican.
    • It is a little disingenuous to call Arlen "Magic Bullet" Specter a Republican.

      Would it be more accurate to say he's a member of the Republic Party, then?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) *
      It is a little disingenuous to call Arlen "Magic Bullet" Specter a Republican.

      Why? Republicans aren't small-government conservatives anymore, at least on the national level. Most of them are big-spending, authoritarian, pro illegal-immigration, Amendment #2-only big-business lackeys. Hmm, take out the second amendment and so are the Democrats.

      Don't get me wrong, in the above vs the above plus the people unable to defend themselves against an oppressive government, the first is preferable, but Reagan is f
      • by clrscr (892395)
        Sad thing is I dont know if newt can get elected :[ People wont take the time to actually listen to him and his ideas for real reform.
        • Sad thing is I dont know if newt can get elected :[ People wont take the time to actually listen to him and his ideas for real reform.

          People would. The media won't cover him, though.

          I recommend that everybody who "hates" him (having been so convinced by the media) to listen to ten of his podcasts [apple.com], which are about 1:30 each. If you don't have 15 minutes to listen to any presidential candidate, we're on on the same plane.

          I do think that somebody does need to buy Newt a book on Game Theory. He'll have 25 br
  • Public Domain... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msauve (701917) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @09:34AM (#18275878)
    Anything broadcast over the public airwaves (_all_ spectra is a natural public resource, spectrum "auctions" be damned), should be considered to have been placed into the public domain (it has, quite literally, but it should apply legally, also).

    That should be the price paid to the public for the licensed, exclusive use of that part of our resource by a private party. They want copyright, fine - just use some private, controlled delivery method.
    • by TheSpoom (715771) *
      Yeah, but this has the added benefit of placing your TV partially under the control of a third party. What politician would be against that?
    • by geekoid (135745)
      yeah...except the 'privite controlled method' would be putting more powerfull transmitters all of the place and walking all over everybody elses signal.

      The auction is a compromise, and a pretty good one.
      For the record I believe firmly that is something is broadcast anyone is allowed to pick it up. You don't encrypt? too bad, so sad. Don't encrypt strong enough? so sad, too bad.
      It's the redistribution that needs to be disallowed.
      • by msauve (701917)
        "except the 'privite controlled method' would be putting more powerfull transmitters"

        Uh, no, that would still be using the public airwaves. One example of private distribution would be via retail sale of DVDs.
        • by geekoid (135745)
          So nobody could broadcast anything?

          You do know that corporations are run by people, right?

          So If You could broadcast, then so can they.
          • by Chmcginn (201645)
            Nobody's talking about preventing them for broadcasting... but if you broadcast something that you hold the rights to, you surrender at least some portion of those rights.
          • by Eccles (932)
            his mind is not for rent, to god or government. - Rush, the musicians, not the fat tard.

            If you're going to quote Rush, it's "any god or government". Sorry to be nit picky...
      • by Kadin2048 (468275)
        yeah...except the 'privite controlled method' would be putting more powerfull transmitters all of the place and walking all over everybody elses signal.

        Erm, no, that would be illegal. What he's saying is that if you didn't want to give up copyright, you need to own the distribution method also. So, you'd need to sell DVDs or pump the signal out via a cable system that you own every inch of (plus all the ground underneath it, the right-of-ways, etc.).
        • by geekoid (135745)
          yeah...that would mean there qwould be no radio or TV. I don't think that's a good thing.

          "So, you'd need to sell DVDs or pump the signal out via a cable system that you own every inch of (plus all the ground underneath it, the right-of-ways, etc.)."

          I see, so basically he is saying nobody should get TV, because without a way to get right of way you won't have cable.
          And without copyright, you won't have satallite.
          So no news, no descovery channel, no sci-fi channel, no sports, no way to advertise your DVDs.

          Tha
          • Not necessarily. It would just mean that you'd need to pay for the cost of creating programming during it's first run on TV, and you couldn't resell the same show multiple times. Which actually is how most TV works (well, worked; DVD sales are bigger and bigger now).

            The way TV is traditionally paid for, is that the stations sell advertising time, and then they pay the networks (well, actually the networks themselves sell a lot of advertising directly; the locals only get to sell some of a program's ads), an
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Microlith (54737)
      Congratulations, you just killed Television.

      Let's see how many other medium we can destroy by applying your theory.
      • "Congratulations, you just killed Television."

        You say that like it's a bad thing.

        Seriously, TV started and grew into a major industry based entirely upon the revenue of advertisements. There's a lot of early TV (and radio) content which is simply unavailable today, either because the technology didn't exist to record it, or because it was wasn't considered worth keeping. It had already been paid for, and generated profit, upon initial broadcast.

        Your implied argument lacks merit.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Guaranteed (998819)
          Not to mention that anything broadcast over public airwaves IS free to pick up right now. For example, I have rabbit ears which I use to pick up CTV, CBC and Global. For FREE! Public airwaves, free content. This certainly hasn't killed CTV, CBC or Global. In fact, the CBC has almost built its success on Hockey Night in Canada being able to reach almost 100% of the Canadian population, whether they can afford private access to cable networks or not.
        • by EvanED (569694)
          It had already been paid for, and generated profit, upon initial broadcast.

          Really? Do you have any data to back that up?
          • by Sobrique (543255)
            Aren't most TV stations funded off advertising?

            The exception being the BBC, but even they have already paid for their content before broadcast.

            Most broadcasters don't get a profit off the service they provide, they do so indirectly via selling advertising time, and compare this to the number of people who would 'receive' them.

            • by EvanED (569694)
              Aren't most TV stations funded off advertising?

              I don't know. Are they?

              They are funded at least in part by advertising, but I have never seen any data to suggest that this covers the whole cost. It could very well be that ads pay for 1/3 of the cost, revenue from cable companys' customers another 1/3 the cost, and DVD sales the last 1/3. In that case, msauve's statement that it generated a profit on the initial broadcast would be wrong.

              As it is, I have no clue what percentage is paid by each of these things.
    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by Just Some Guy (3352)

      Anything broadcast over the public airwaves (_all_ spectra is a natural public resource, spectrum "auctions" be damned), should be considered to have been placed into the public domain (it has, quite literally, but it should apply legally, also).

      That's an excellent idea! Please let me know when you email your latest novel over Wi-Fi. After all, it's being broadcast over the public airwaves, so I should be entitled to it.

      Honestly, did you think about that for more than 2 seconds before you decided to w

      • n/t
      • by Kadin2048 (468275)
        I have a compromise for you.

        You surrender all copyrights to anything you broadcast onto the public's spectrum, but you're free, on narrowly-defined two-way communications bands, to use any form of encryption, encoding, or obfuscation that you want. At the same time, there's no reverse-engineering protection, so no whining if your encryption turns out to be crap.

        To be honest, I'd be satisfied with retaining the current copyright structure but just getting rid of the bizarre anti-circumvention provisions, bec
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by radarjd (931774)
      Anything broadcast over the public airwaves (_all_ spectra is a natural public resource, spectrum "auctions" be damned), should be considered to have been placed into the public domain (it has, quite literally, but it should apply legally, also).

      That should be the price paid to the public for the licensed, exclusive use of that part of our resource by a private party. They want copyright, fine - just use some private, controlled delivery method.

      What, then, is the incentive for broadcast? To be sure, s

      • by msauve (701917)
        "What, then, is the incentive for broadcast?"

        The same as always, advertising revenue. The fact that people were free to record original Seinfeld episodes (which made a profit the first time they were broadcast) doesn't stop them from being resyndicated - there is still a demand, and a profit to be made. Allowing them to redistribute such content because it's in the public domain would do little to change that. People are lazy that way.

        "What happens when someone takes the "private controlled delivery metho
    • by morsdeus (1059938)
      How interesting. You do realize that all methods of information transmission that don't use cables (and even some that do) utilize the radio spectrum of light, I assume? So what you of course support is that all information transferred over all wireless networks of any kind is now public domain, including the contents of your email or even intranetwork file movements. Is listening in on your cellphone also fair game for everyone now, too? Do we require people not to use encryption on the airwaves?
    • by adavies42 (746183)

      all spectra is a natural public resource, spectrum "auctions" be damned

      Yes, because the socialists who were running everything in the 30's declared it so. When are people going to realize that government is the problem, not the solution? Allow true, permanent ownership of bandwidth, defined by reasonable limits on range, interference, etc., and let the market take care of the rest. You may as well declare that land belongs to the people, and see how far that gets you.

    • I've never understood the argument that the "airwaves," the radio portion of the EM spectrum, a public resource, therefore government-owned and controlled. You can transmit many radio signals at once in the same place without interference -- especially with modern frequency-hopping tech -- yet you can't easily have many people transmitting "signals" by sound waves in the same area, at once, without interference. Since the air is considered a public resource, isn't there at least as strong a case for governm
      • by AJWM (19027)
        isn't there at least as strong a case for government regulation of audio as for its control of radio?

        Um, ever hear of anti-noise ordinances?
        • No, I mean, if government can auction off the ability to speak by radio on certain frequencies and impose controls over what can be said (see eg. the "Fairness Doctrine"), then why don't the same justifications used for radio also justify controls over normal speech?

          (Obvious response: "But that'd violate the First Amendment."

          Response to that: "Yes, but don't the controls over radio speech do that too?")
          • by Rakarra (112805)
            No, I mean, if government can auction off the ability to speak by radio on certain frequencies and impose controls over what can be said (see eg. the "Fairness Doctrine"), then why don't the same justifications used for radio also justify controls over normal speech?



            Speech has a far shorter range than radio. The problems of audio conversations interferring with each other and radio broadcasts interferring with each other are pretty dissimilar.

    • by multisync (218450)

      That should be the price paid to the public for the licensed, exclusive use of that part of our resource by a private party.

      Broadcasters already pay to license the airwaves from the public, and they are not usually the copyright holder of the works they broadcast. I don't think copyright holders would permit broadcasters to use their work if the result would be that work entering the Public Domain.

      Now, if you want to argue that Copyright should expire and the work should enter the Public Domain after a reas

    • by evilviper (135110)

      Anything broadcast over the public airwaves (_all_ spectra is a natural public resource, spectrum "auctions" be damned), should be considered to have been placed into the public domain

      No. The current system where you can use it for any personal/private purpose you want, is just fine. Public domain suggests you can resell it to others.

      All your method would do is to ensure that nothing good would be broadcast in the clear, and heavy encryption with DRM would be required by the public to listen to the radio,

  • I thought that treaty-making was a function reserved for the Executive Branch (subject to the "advice and consent" of the Senate; see article II, section 2 of the Constitution). So how can the two senators instruct the US delegation to do anything?
    • Re:Instructed ? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Red Flayer (890720) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @09:44AM (#18275988) Journal

      So how can the two senators instruct the US delegation to do anything?

      Well, there's a lot of give-and-take, since the Senate must ratify any treaty before it goes into effect. Just like judicial nominations, the Executive Branch needs to consider whether a treaty or nominee will be confirmed before they issue their own stamp of approval.
       
      In essence, these Senators are sending a message to the Executive Department that the treaty faces a tough time in the Senate unless it is narrowed in scope.
       
      FYI, this is how the legislative and executive branches have worked out compromises in all but the most dysfunctional presidencies (Jackson is a notable exception -- the Senate and he couldn't get on the same page at all).
       
      On the flip side, you could ask how the Executive Branch can ask the Senate and House to focus on certain issues, since theoretically they have no input into the functions of those bodies, only a veto power on the output. But it's surprising how much the two branches depend on eachother, and it's only recently that the Executive Branch has held so mouch power that it's been able to dictate actions in the Legislature -- and what we are witnessing here is an example of the pendulum swinging back to more Legislative influence (I hope).
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        what we are witnessing here is an example of the pendulum swinging back to more Legislative influence (I hope).

        Why do you prefer 535 tyrants to one? Or someone who has to fool less than 300,000 people to retain power indefinitely vs. a term limited chief executive.
        • by sheldon (2322)
          To your first question... 535 tyrants can rarely come to agreement on any one thing.

          To your second question... The size of congressional districts are more like 600,000 people.

          I'd prefer it if the size of congressional districts were further reduced, down to 150,000 people. This would mean we'd have around 1200 representatives instead of 435, but as I said... 1200 people aren't likely to agree on anything, unless it's actually a good idea.

          As to term limits. They're a HORRIBLE idea. When you place term
          • With 1200 senators, the legislator would pass nothing, except "castrate the sex offenders" legislation, since that's the only thing that would make it out of filibuster. :-)

            Stew
            • by sheldon (2322)
              1200 house members... not senators.

              Of course that is the downside of that proposal, making the senators heads even more inflated and egotistical. Just what we need... a super ego John McCain, as if the gynormous ego he has now isn't already big enough.
        • Why do you prefer 535 tyrants to one?

          Gee, I don't know, something about dilution of power keeping one moron from doing irrevocable harm?

          Or someone who has to fool less than 300,000 people to retain power indefinitely vs. a term limited chief executive.

          Very few representatives have to fool fewer than 300,000 people. Reps average 690,000 constituents, Senators 3,000,000. And again, that power is diluted.

          IMO, we need representation more along the lines of 50,000 to 1, so that the decision-makers are direc

        • by aukset (889860)
          The power of a senator is constrained by 99 other senators, every member of the house, the rules of the senate, the judicial branch and constitution, executive veto power and executive discretion on enforcement issues, and ultimately the people of his state. Never mind that some of that is only symbolic due to the two dominant party system.

          The president has vastly more power than any individual senator or congressman as he or she has executive control of dozens of agencies including the military, the power
    • by maxume (22995)
      What it boils down to is that instruct can mean either 'inform' or 'direct', and in this case, it means 'inform'.

      http://www.answers.com/instruct [answers.com]
    • by EvanED (569694)
      The same way the president submits a budget to Congress even though money bills have to start in the House. (Or something like that. I'm really tired and my Constitution-fu is weak now.)
  • The WIPO Broadcast Treaty is a complex beast.

    Thats an understatement.
  • I don't know (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by KKlaus (1012919)
    If I'm alone in this, but can we not act as if everything is a wrestling fight? They didn't "smack" anything down, and in fact the wording the article itself uses is "expressed concern."

    Same goes to "blast." If I wanted to read sensationalist crap, I'd turn on fox. Let's not have any of that here!
  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @10:08AM (#18276292)

    If the Congress passes a law that encroaches on American's Constitutional rights, the courts can nullify the law by the doctrine of judicial review. Are Americans similarly protected against treaties whose enforcement within our border would violate our Constitutional rights?

    If so, does the court get to nullify the whole treaty, or just its local enforcement?

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Article VI says that the constitution and treaties are the supreme law of the land.

      This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any state to the Contrary notwithstanding.
      • by stinerman (812158)
        Modern jurisprudence puts treaties below the Constitution. There was a SCOTUS case that dealt with this (but I can't find a citation at the moment).
  • ...that the protection of copyright in this case seeks to keep rights with the creators and away from the distributors? I mean, considering that the rights to most of what is broadcast belong almost exclusively to another level of distributor, and not to the original creators?

  • It's amusing to see people bashing Specter. He's not perfect, but he's one of the few stand-up Republicans left. 90% of the time he says something, it makes sense - he doesn't cow-tow to the rest of the party like most of those assholes.

    The article indicates they don't want _broadcasters_ to have new rights over content.

  • by sabernet (751826) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @01:41PM (#18279036) Homepage
    Let me get this straight...

    A republican senator from the USA, is using US copyright law to strike down a worldwide trade treaty brought to WIPO that would give too much power to larger corporations and those with means in a not only easily abused draft but as well as an unethical transfer of rights away from the creators of original works...

    I think Hell just froze over O_o

    • According to the US Constitution, international treaties may not be subrogated by the Congress, which includes the Senate, once affirmed and signed.

      Too late.

      Now, if WIPO decides that US patent law and copyright law - as well as DCMA - have gotten out of hand - that's called justice.
      • by AJWM (19027)
        Come now, do you really think that WIPO -- the World Intellectual Property Organization -- is going to do anything to weaken copyrights and patents?
        • Come now, do you really think that WIPO -- the World Intellectual Property Organization -- is going to do anything to weaken copyrights and patents?

          One can always dream. And since they don't like the US much nowadays, one has more hope than usual ...
  • Why is there no mention that Patrick Leahy is the leading Democrat and, more importantly, head of the Judiciary Committee, but the party and "rank" of Arlen Specter is mentioned?

    Not that I have any particular respect or admiration for either guy; they're both blowhards who are somewhat guaranteed their seats as long as they choose to run. (Like most of the more irritating Senators, including that douche Hollings who basically had his nose up the RIAA/MPAA's collective asses, and that toady Orrin Hatch.)
    • by Khaed (544779)
      My bad, I'm a moron and apparently missed the "chairman of..." part o the summary.

      I wonder if I can smack myself in the face with a clue stick and still manage to yell "RTF Summary!" five or six times...

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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