17 July 2007

Chile Heats up the WIPO Debate

Wow, this was precisely the kind of thing I was calling for - but not expecting to happen:

In the wake of the recently concluded broadcasting negotiations at WIPO in June 2007 (Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights) where a proposed instrument for the protection of broadcasting organizations was put on cold storage but not terminated, a Chilean proposal on the examination of limitations and exceptions in the copyright area has come to the fore.

Chile has proposed that the WIPO copyright committee examine limitations and exceptions for the blind, educators and librarians. India has reinforced Chile’s reformist thrust by calling upon WIPO to consider socially relevant issues such as access to knowledge and education.


Chile’s multi-pronged endeavours to imbue the WIPO patent committee and the WIPO copyright committee with a more reflective and development- oriented approach is welcome and of significant strategic import to the Development Agenda and the access to knowledge (a2k) movement. In addition to the limitations and exceptions proposal tabled to the SCP, Chile’s proposal on patents and standards carries reinforces discussions that have begun to take place at the World Trade Organization and the Internet Governance Forum on remedies to mitigate the inherent tension between the public interest and patents in information and communications (ICT) standards.

These might seem tiny, tangential, even trivial issues, but don't be fooled: even raising them within the context of WIPO's hitherto hardline pro-intellectual monopolist framework is of huge symbolic significance. (Via IP Justice.)

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