Broadcaster protection treaty in limbo

WIPO attempting update to reflect new technology

BRUSSELS -- Plans for an international broadcaster protection treaty are in limbo after negotiations broke down in Geneva.

Officials at World Intellectual Property Organization, a United Nations agency, are aiming to update their 1961 Broadcast Treaty to take account of new technologies such as the Internet and VOD.

The draft text would have given media organizations exclusive rights over anything they broadcast -- equivalent to a new intellectual property right. But the talks were suspended after the U.S. delegation insisted the treaty should include webcasting.