Sometimes people or organizations do things that just seem beyond comprehension. You just sit there, dumbfounded, shaking your head and asking “why?”. One example of this is what the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization is proposing:
The Broadcast Treaty is an attempt to force the world’s governments to give a new right to broadcasters, a right to control the use of works they don’t own. The Broadcast Right will allow broadcasters to stop you from copying or re-using the programs they transmit, even if those programs are in the public domain, Creative Commons licensed or composed of uncopyrightable facts.
It gets worse though, as Boing Boing explains. They want to create a “webcasting right” at the same time:
This is deadly to podcasters. The webcasting right will break podcasters’ ability to quote and re-use each others’ work (even CC-licensed works), and other video found on the net. It will allow podcast-hosting companies like Yahoo to tell people how they can use your podcasts, even if you want to permit retransmissions.
I guess a few letters have already been put together by EFF, signed by people like Mark Cuban, and sent to WIPO. Now they have put together another letter, and this one can be signed by podcasters everywhere:
If you are a podcaster — or better yet, a podcasting organization — sign onto this letter now! It will be presented Monday morning to the WIPO committee that’s creating the Broadcast Treaty in Geneva. This is your best-ever chance to be heard.
You can check out the letter and indicate that you want to sign it here.
Read: Boing Boing