CDT has previously noted
that the effort at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to create new, I.P.-like rights for broadcast and cable companies -- a project that raises serious concerns -- has received little attention to date from U.S. lawmakers. In a very welcome development, Senators Leahy and Specter, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Thursday added their voices to the debate in a letter
to the Copyright Office and Patent and Trademark Office.
The letter hits the nail on the head. It notes that the draft treaty goes beyond the narrow purpose of protecting against signal theft and instead creates copyright-like rights that "could limit legitimate, fair use of the content and add an unnecessary layer of uncertainty in consumer use" and that "appear to be inconsistent with United States law." It is great to see that the two leaders of the relevant Senate committee are on top of this issue and are weighing in with a united bipartisan voice.