World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
WIPO may be in transition from its past promotion of a miximalist agenda for Patents, Copyright and Trademarks (PCT) to balancing these laws with an agenda that promotes creativity, innovation, and UN values such as international development (More via: EFF, CPTech, IPJustice). There is a growing international recognition that too much PCT can harm creativity and innovation, just as too little PCT can.
A BLOG article by James Love includes a reference to the fact that the Canadian representative to WIPO during the talks on the "Development Agenda" said they "didn't understand" what "access to knowledge" meant. A2K has been discussed quite heavily over the last decade, and I have to wonder what rookie "The New Government of Canada" sent to these critically important meetings.
See also: WIPO Development Agenda Meeting Starts Directly With Proposals from William New and Tove Iren S. Gerhardsen of IP-Watch.
In response to Maka Kotto's question in parliament, in which he asked about the WIPO treaties that he said we ratified in 1996, I sent him an email and got a response from his office.
BTW, if anyone can translate the response, please do so. I get the gist of it, but my French is pretty awful.
My email :
A Wired Magazine article by Luke O'Brien includes:
A bill introduced Tuesday by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Virginia) and Rep. John Doolittle (R-California) would loosen some of the tight restrictions on consumer behavior imposed by the draconian Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 -- something the lawmakers say is long overdue.
These specific US politicians recognize the need to fix some of the flaws of laws which certain US government agencies policy-laundered through WIPO in 1996. This development will help Canadian politicians recognize that we need not make the same mistakes in Canada, and shouldn't ratify the 1996 WIPO treaties.
While the bill is not ideal, and should allow circumvention of a DRM for any activity that would not otherwise constitute a copyright infringement, it is a good start.
A MacWorld article by Grant Gross predictably reports that the technology-illiterate major labels oppose the bill. What will be interesting to see if technology companies like Apple, Microsoft and Sony that often try to "pass the buck" on DRM will properly support the bill or remain silent.
A ZDNet BLOG article by Dana Blankenhorn talks about the WIPO development agenda.
Canadians will remember that when reporting BMG Canada v Doe (The CRIA filesharing case"), many journalists parroted the CRIA misinterpretation that the case was lost due to a lack of a "making available" exclusive-right in Canada. Anyone who read the case knew the primary "issues" were that Canada has stronger privacy legislation than the USA (why there was a discovery case at all), and that CRIA members provided no evidence of infringing activity.
An article by James Love in the Huffington Post included:
An International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) article discusses the development agenda (EFF) talks that have been underway this week.
I haven't reviewed the document to know if the "open collaborative methods for the production of public goods" (the language used by some of the WIPO development agenda proponents for peer production, FLOSS, Open Access, Creative Commons, etc) is still directly referenced.
I finally watched an inconvenient truth, the documentary about the climate change crisis by Al Gore. It is appropriate that this is a story by a politician, given this is entirely a political issue. The science behind knowing the problems, and most the science and economics behind the solutions are already known : the problem that is stopping us from solving the greatest problem ever faced by humanity is entirely a matter of political will and knowledge sharing.
It is our lack of skills in social sciences, not natural sciences, that are the real threat to the planet's survival.
There is an alphabet soup of acronyms people use when talking about some of the controversies around copyright related issues. While learning the acronyms are hard enough, we also have to deal with the fact that different communities are using the terms in different ways. I have had the opportunity to interact with technical, legal and law making communities and will try to make sense out of a few most often heard acronyms.
This acronym is most often used to mean Technical Protection Measure. Whenever you hear the word "protection" you should be thinking of what is being protected from who? This is a policy question, and the policy questions are often far more important than the technology being used.
Other key sites
Digital Copyright Canada BLOG