Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Leaked WIPO memo shows rich countries plans at WIPO

Karsten sez, "IP Watch has obtained a confidential report from a WIPO meeting of developed countries. It took place just before WIPO's general assembly in September. In this meeting they decided, among other things, to sink the much-criticized Broadcast Treaty. The report also describes how these countries (US, EU, Japan and others) are honing their strategy to minimise the effect of the proposal for a development agenda."

WIPO is the UN agency that creates copyright treaties -- it has the same relationship to bad copyright law that Mordor has to evil. The Broadcast Treaty is a sleazy attempt to create new rights for broadcasters and webcasters that trump the rights of the public and of actual creators. It's been a flashpoint for activist groups, who have started to show up in force, questioning the treaty's legitimacy.

The Development Agenda is the plan to reform WIPO as a real humanitarian UN agency, something it promised to do when it was chartered. The idea is to force every WIPO treaty to justify itself in terms of international development for poor countries, instead of just creating windfall profits for multinational copyright companies. It's a global scandal that developed nations are planning to sabotage it.

On the proposed broadcasting treaty, the report said that several members, as well as others not in the room, "will be making sure the diplomatic conference does not go ahead smoothly this week." In the end, it was agreed to schedule the diplomatic conference, or high-level treaty negotiation, for late 2007, after more meetings and another General Assembly.

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