The Bush Administration is asking the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for new global regulations on "netcasting." What is "netcasting"? No one really knows. According to this recent US government submission to WIPO:
"netcasting" means the transmission by wire or wireless means over a computer network, such as through Internet protocol or any successor protocol . . . of sounds or of images or of images and sounds or of the representation thereof . . . consisting of . . . audio, visual or audiovisual content of the type that can be carried by the program-carrying signal of a broadcast or cablecast. . . "
This week's proposal by the Bush administration was the product of an inter-agency review that included the US Patent and Trademark Office, the US Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the State Department, and the Library of Congress, plus others. But it was really the product of a handful of lobbysts for big corporations -- most prominent in this particular case -- Murdoch's News Corp (owner of Fox News and MySpace), Yahoo, and AT&T.
The Bush Administration is expected to have public consultations on this proposal this month. Let's hope people are reading the federal register in August.
For more on this general issue, start here.