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February 8, 2005
Toward a Kinder, Gentler WIPO
David Bollier, commenting on the continuing evolution of the Development Agenda -- or as I've been calling it, the proposal for WIPO 2.0:
This is a big deal. Right now, large companies claim ownership of the genes in genetically modified crops and patents on vital medicines that cost too much for developing nations to afford. Large companies are invoking patent rights to interfere with the growth of free software and open source software. Companies are trying to introduce "digital rights management" schemes for television, DVD and CD technology, so that people's access to works, and their ability to record and share works, could be strictly regulated. Companies are even trying to control how (and whether) public libraries may lend out digital works for free.
The goal of an a2k [access to knowledge] treaty would be to reverse this tide.
A very big deal indeed. Join the discussion about the treaty here
; check out notes from last week's meetings prepping for forthcoming WIPO negotiations here
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