If adopted, the WIPO treaty will give broadcasters 50 years of copyright-like control over the content of their broadcasts, even when they have no copyright in what they show. A TV channel broadcasting your Creative Commons-licensed movie could legally demand that no one record or redistribute it—and sue anyone who does. And TV companies could use their new rights to go after TiVo or MythTV for daring to let you skip advertisements or record programs in DRM-free formats.
Read this report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation
At stake is the “webcasting provision” of the “Broadcasters’ Treaty” underway at WIPO, the UN agency that handles copyrights, patents and the like. The Webcasting provision would make it illegal to retransmit Creative Commons licensed works (as well as public domain works, uncopyrightable works like those made by the US government, etc) without permission of the person who hosts them. In other words, it will no longer be enough to know that the author of the work wants you to share it — you’ll also need permission from the company that hosts and distributes the files.
Read this blog entry from BoingBoing
More on the issue from Ars Techica:
Broadcast Treaty has potential to grant unwarranted “protections”
UN Broadcasting Treaty seen as severely limiting essential freedoms
UPDATE: WIPO broadcast treaty abandons rights-based approach from Ars
Add to what we know about the Treaty on the Protection of Broadcast Organizations at the Whats New Media Wiki.