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.

When will the USA be added to their own "Special 301 report"

There are many policy makers like law like Heritage Minister Lisa Frulla who is entirely uninformed on copyright law and precedent. They may have read the Special 301 report and believe that Canada's laws are somehow not in accordance with international standards. The reality is that the USA has similar debates within their own country, with US Judge Patel Shoots Down Notion That the Right of Distribution Includes "Making Available". This is very similar to the second part ("making available") of the judgment from Canadian Justice Von Finckenstein.

Did You Say "Intellectual Property"? It's a Seductive Mirage

Did You Say "Intellectual Property"? It's a Seductive Mirage

by Richard M. Stallman

(Republished from a page on The GNU project)

It has become fashionable to describe copyright, patents, and trademarks as "intellectual property". This fashion did not arise by accident--the term systematically distorts and confuses these issues, and its use was and is promoted by those who gain from this confusion. Anyone wishing to think clearly about any of these laws would do well to reject the term.

WIPO: Online Forum on Intellectual Property in the Information Society

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will host an Online Forum on Intellectual Property in the Information Society from June 1 to 15, 2005.

The WIPO Online Forum is designed to enable and encourage an open debate on issues related to intellectual property in the information society, and in light of the goals of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). This presents a unique opportunity for all to engage and shape the emerging debate on the value of intellectual property in our day.

The WIPO Online Forum will be open to participation by all interested persons – you are invited to join in online discussions over a period of two weeks from June 1, 2005. It is hoped that the Online Forum will further inform the discussions taking place during the second phase of WSIS. The conclusions of the Online Forum will form part of WIPO’s contribution to the Tunis Summit.

Law bytes: We can help bridge the digital divide

This article by Michael Geist (Toronto Star, linked version) includes:

Earlier this month, the World Intellectual Property Organization hosted groundbreaking discussions in Geneva. The U.N. agency, which for years has been associated with ever-increasing intellectual property protections for the developed world, held talks about initiating a new intellectual property development agenda that holds the potential to shift some of its focus to the needs of the developing world.

Linux programmer wins legal victory

This article by Stephen Shankland, Staff Writer, CNET includes:

A Linux programmer has reported a legal victory in Germany in enforcing the General Public License, which governs countless projects in the free and open-source software realms.

It is important to realize that this copyright holder must be able to legally circumvent so-called "technological protection measures" (TPM) which are being used by copyright infringers to obfuscate their infringement. Policy makers to realize that legal protection for TPM will harm creators as circumvention is required to collect evidence of infringement.

Nations Clash On Future Of WIPO Development Agenda

This Intellectual Property Watch article by William New includes:

Developed and developing countries faced off Monday over whether and how the U.N. World Intellectual Property Organisation’s mission should be transformed to better address the needs of developing countries.

See many articles on Future of WIPO meetings via The Open-wipo Archives

US draft paper opposes Development Agenda in WIPO

Two messages on our forum point to what will be an increasingly heated debate on the future of WIPO between proponents of the Development Agenda who recognize the need for WIPO reform, and those that align themselves with the incumbent industry protectionism of the United States (Messages from: Sara Bannerman and
Samuel Trosow).

One paper from the Third World Network seems to be widely referenced.

Open letter to Sarah McLachlan about the World on Fire and the future of music

I wrote an open letter to Sarah McLachlan, congradulating her on her "World on Fire" and asking if she would be willing to take the next step in the process by helping to minimize the harm to international development caused by the recording industry.

Letter posted to Digital Copyright Canada forum, newsgroup and

WIPO Lockout Inspires Global Protest

Geneva - When the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) earlier this month shut out many public interest groups from two April meetings about the impact of patent, copyright and related regimes on the developing world, many civil society groups greeted the news with concern.

Most of the groups barred from the meetings, which are to focus on whether WIPO should adopt a "Development Agenda," are public interest organizations with special expertise on issues of economic development. Without the input of these groups, the meetings can do little to further WIPO's understanding of how patents, copyright, and related rights affect developing nations.

Read full press release.

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