James Love summarizes Ben Ivins' comments at the last WIPO Netcasters Treaty meeting:

Ben Ivins of NAB just spoke at WIPO.  My quick notes of his main points:

  1. We don't need these impact studies.  We never needed any studies for any of these IPR treaties.  There should be no cost benefit analysis of the treaty.   Just do it.
  2. We don't want this WSIS A2K and the UNESCO cultural diversity stuff in the treaty.
  3. Attacks India, and defends the new economic rights for broadcasters as the "essential economic tools" they need to provide knowledge and entertainment in the digital age.
James Love summarizes Ben Ivin's position on the Treaty at a past WIPO Netcasters Meeting:

Ben Ivins from NAB the made a very detailed and clear intervention about how NAB considered the protection of the "signal" to mean that everything transmitted via a signal should be protected. Ivins objected to any notion that educational materials or public domain materials would not be subject to strong exclusive rights, and he provided a detailed discussion of how broadcast organizations would use to the treaty to restrict access to public domain materials, in order to protect their investments in locating and airing the public domain works. If there had been any doubt over the issue of how broadcasters would use the treaty to restrict access to public domain materials, it was eliminated by the NAB intervention.

Ben Ivins on why we don't need evidence when we make treaties related to communications and copyright:

Parties say that before we proceed, there is a need for further study and analysis of the impact on the public.  I expand on Switzerland's remark: you can't go to two weddings at once. After 7 years of deliberations and 13 meetings, it's like the groom turning to the bride on the altar asking for an audit of his bride's finances. There was no call for these studies in 1998-2002. 16 countries submitted proposals without calling for studies. There was no call for such studies for WPPT, for WCT or for Rome or others. Why now? How is this consistent with accelerating the treaty. ..... [right at the end] The consummation of this treaty should take place now, in this sanctuary of Copyright and related rights, and not years hence in a nursing home.

Ben Ivins in the International Herald Tribune on quickly establishing a bizarre new right for broadcasters:

Ben Ivins, of the National Association of Broadcasters in the United States, said he believed that giving a new copyright to traditional broadcasters, and addressing the concerns of online operators later, was the best way to put a treaty in place quickly.

He noted that, so far, global copyright authorities had not even considered intangibles like Internet traffic as intellectual property, where ownership begins and ends or how much it is worth.

Deciding these matters could take years and may not even be possible, Ivins suggested. "Does an Internet signal eventually turn into ether, into something so ephemeral that nobody can own?" he said.  "The argument has become almost theological."