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February 24, 2005
What's Up With WIPO?
As regular Copyfight readers know, the fact that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is considering the so-called Development Agenda is the biggest and best news copyfighters worldwide have heard for years. The big question here: Will WIPO unlock its considerable power to help humanity by pursuing a range of initiatives that reflect such notions as "balance," "innovation" and "access"? Or will it remain mired in an "IP uber alles" philosophy that considers any and all "strengthening" of intellectual property rights to be the proper fulfillment of its mission?
The latest developments are promising: WIPO has agreed to a number of meetings in April where the Development Agenda will be discussed. Lately, however, some non-government organizations (NGOs) have started to worry that they will be excluded from the meetings because WIPO hasn't yet accredited them. It's a unique moment in WIPO history, and hashing through the pros and cons of the agenda will require the perspectives and expertise of organizations that are focused on public interest and development issues. Yet there's no guarantee that these groups will be accredited and their voices heard.
Yesterday, David Tannenbaum of the Union for the Public Domain published a terrific post over @ LawMeme that provides insights on the situation from CPTech's Jamie Love. Love is working to gather details from WIPO about the process for admitting NGOs to ensure that people who have vital experience and authority in these matters will not be excluded. If you care about the direction of intellectual property law and policy, the post is a must-read/must-link/must-republish. It's important that the public knows what's happening here. Let's shed some light.
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