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Donna Wentworth
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Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

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February 24, 2005

What's Up With WIPO?

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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.

Comments (2) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Laws and Regulations


COMMENTS

1. Rafael Venegas on February 24, 2005 11:40 PM writes...

No matter what WIPO is doing we should remember...

The purpose of WIPO is to advance the interest of the industrial powers that control WIPO and that make most discoveries (called "inventions" to legitimize the grabbing of ideas that naturally ocurr and the monopoly of their use) and produce most books, recordings, etc. so that these can be exploited also in the poorer countries that produce few exportable "inventions", books and musical recordings, resulting in a cash flow that is mostly in one direction, from poor countries to the rich contries.

On the surface it is hard to figure out why poor countries sign WIPO treaties, since it operates agains them. Of course the force is blackmail: No WIPO, no trade, no loans, no military assistance, no...

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2. John Ess on February 25, 2005 3:48 AM writes...

What Venegas has to say may be true but staring at a monolith is inaction and therefore a decision - Donna Wentworth is absolutely right - shed light on this and it can not survive the heat of the sun - with the trash event and now this trash it is clear that NGOs must be represented. A little complicated to communicate the politics of it - but overall the message should be 'Don't fence us out and call your process democratic!'

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