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.

Uses and Abuses of Technical Protection Measures (TPMs)

By Russell McOrmond (Please see dynamic version that is periodically updated).

When reading the 1996 WIPO treaties (WPPT and WCT), there is an assumption that these treaties require legal protection for controversial types of DRM (Digital Restrictions Management). These are technologies which excessively control and/or monitor the private activities and choices of technology users, attacking their privacy, property and other rights.

Worlds apart: Global summits highlight digital policy divide

This article by Michael Geist in the Citizen includes:

Despite Prime Minister Paul Martin's repeated commitments to the developing world, Canada has quietly backed the United States on both the Internet governance and WIPO Development Agenda issues.

That position puts Ottawa at odds with the developing world and fails to recognize that the national interest lies with a globalized approach that benefits countries both the rich and poor. ITU and WIPO negotiators may be facing a fork in the policy road over the next two weeks, but Canada sadly appears to be unsure of which direction to turn.

Geist: Avoiding a WIPO wipeout

This Ottawa Citizen article by Michael Geist includes:

In fact, according to government documents obtained under an Access to Information request, at the time Canada considered signing the treaties, then-Canadian Heritage Minister Sheila Copps was advised that "international convention is such that signing in no way binds Canada to ratify the treaties. It is a symbolic gesture."

See also: Coming Clean on Copyright

Cory Doctorow on WIPO, the copyfight and international development.

Alex Steffen of Worldchanging posted a great interview with Cory Doctorow about WIPO, the copyfight, and international development.

WIPO could have created a global knowledge goods regime which protected both the commercial and the humanitarian fairly.

But WIPO completely failed to do that, and it went on being a completely captive agency, simply making more copyright, more patent, more related rights, more trademarks on the grounds that all of these rights were themselves a good, regardless of the impact they had on people

Also on p2pnet

Cory Doctorow gives lecture in London on Policy Laundering, Copyright and the Broadcast Flag

Audio-only MP3 version made by Learn 4 Life is based on the videos from Alfie Dennen's BLOG.

Policy laundering is something that every 5 year old is familiar with. The essential thing that you need to know to understand policy laundering is "but Dad said I could". If you have ever seen a 5 year old come up to his mother and say "but Dad said I could" then you have witnessed policy laundering in action.

The example he starts with is the 1995 NII report that was then laundered through WIPO in 1996 to create the DMCA in the USA, Bill C-60 in Canada, and similarly backward legislation and proposals in other countries. This is critical to understanding where Bill C-60 really came from, and how little authority on this subject that this "Dad" should be granted.

IP Justice: WIPO Development Agenda

The IP Justice page for the Development Agenda includes NGO Group Statement Supporting FoD Proposal (14 July 2005).

NGO Group Statement Supporting the Friends of Development Proposal

"We, the undersigned public interest non-governmental organizations support the adoption of the proposal submitted by the Group of Friends of Development (FoD) for a Development Agenda at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)."

WIPO: Trying to Run Reform Into the Ground

The 338th Issue of EFFector includes WIPO: Trying to Run Reform Into the Ground, discussing how the United Kingdom, US, Canada, Australia, Japan, Switzerland, and other wealthy OECD countries known at WIPO as "Group B" are trying to run critically needed reforms of WIPO into the ground. These are reforms that will not only benefit the majority of the world via the developing nations, but also most citizens of the developed nations as well. Policy that is good for Brazil, Argentina and the other "Friends of Development" would also be good for the vast majority of Canadians as well.

Further (copyright) policy suggestions on how to Make Poverty History.

I signed up to the campaign at http://www.makepovertyhistory.ca . The interface sends messages to the prime Minister and your own MP, so I sent the following which seeks to make the connection between copyright and development issues.

I also sent this message to the DCC discuss forum and Rabble Babble.

Aid money only part of solution -- WIPO development agenda must also be recognized

The following was written to Alex McDonough in reply to a press release she sent out about Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously adopting a motion calling on the government to honour its commitment to the UN Millennium Development Goals.

The federal government’s International Policy Statement released earlier this year was deeply disappointing because it lacked any commitment, let alone any enforceable timetable to meet Lester Pearson’s international aid goal of 0.7% adopted as the international standard developed nations must meet, in order to help eradicate poverty and disease around the world.

Making sense of the "making avilable" right....

I have read of two very different schools of thought as to what the "making available" right is all about; one that further complicates copyright by making more people liable for the same act, and the other than simplifies copyright by clarifying what individual is responsible for unauthorized activities on the public part of new-media networks like the Internet.

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