World Broadcast Treaty

Here's something that the traditional media have been rather quiet about: The proposed World Broadcast Treaty, which would essentially circumvent the entire pesky copyright-thing. To quote Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing, who's on-site and covering this on the blog:

One of the least-supported provisions in the treaty is the "Webcaster's provision" which would allow people who transmit information on the Internet to control how anyone who receives it uses it -- even if it's Creative Commons licensed, or in the public domain, or not copyrightable. Microsoft and Yahoo's representatives have backed the US's call for this (America is the only country that wants this), essentially saying that they represent the whole tech industry on this.

In short, this means that someone wants to turn the Internet into a completely regulated system: you have to ask someone a permission before you can put even your own content online. Or - which is more likely - would allow any ISP to decide what their users may get. This is, of course, good for people who want to control anything "improper", the US government (or any oppressive third world government), as well as for big corporations with large pockets who can "buy" an ISP not to transfer any content from a competitor. And if you think that no corporation could be bothered to go after the little guy - then how about only three people getting a TV show cancelled?

Of course, one of the real incentives is to regulate ~VoIP applications such as Skype, because they are competing with telecom companies and distrupting their business models. Think about it: if your phone company is your ISP (like Elisa in Helsinki), why would they allow you to talk to your friend in Japan for free over the internet? (And that's not all, says the Observer. The Internet is to become a new TV network where only few can decide what is to be broadcasted and the rest must just consume. It also increases the control over electronics industry - like giving the media companies power to forbid devices that allow you to fast-forward over commercial breaks.)

Read Cory's article and more coverage. There's also an analysis of the treaty.

How come we only seem to get really bad news these days? And the situation keeps getting worse - where is the tipping point and what will happen then?




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"Main_blogentry_201104_1" last changed on 20-Nov-2004 12:20:57 EET by JanneJalkanen.

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