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September 8, 2006

NAB Sets Record Straight on WIPO Treaty

Washington, DC - As some of you may know, representatives of a number of organizations have issued highly inaccurate statements in opposition to a proposed World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaty designed to combat international piracy of broadcast signals and update the rights of broadcasters in their signal.

Yesterday, NAB President and CEO David K. Rehr sent a letter to Jon W. Dudas, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and another letter to Marybeth Peters, Register of Copyrights for the Library of Congress, attempting to set the record straight. The reality is that broadcaster rights at the international level have not been updated for over 45 years, and this treaty is of critical importance to the preservation of free, over-the-air broadcasting both in the U.S. and abroad.

A consultative session on the treaty is scheduled for September 11-13 at WIPO in Geneva, where a set of draft treaty proposals will be considered and a consensus on many issues will be sought. The next crucial step would be for WIPO's General Assembly meeting later in September to agree to convene a diplomatic conference sometime in 2007.

I am also including answers to 25 commonly asked questions regarding the proposed WIPO broadcast treaty.

If you have any questions, please contact me at (202) 429-5350.


Dennis Wharton
Executive Vice President, Media Relations
National Association of Broadcasters

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