[WSIS CS-Plenary] Re: [governance] Thinking about "intellectual property" is a mistake
avri at acm.org
avri at acm.org
Wed Sep 15 18:14:20 BST 2004
On 7 sep 2004, at 14.21, Richard Stallman wrote:
> To think about "an issue" labeled "intellectual property rights" is a
> sure-fire recipe for unclear thinking about patent issues, about
> copyright issues (completely different from patent issues), and about
> trademark issues (different yet again). If the working group uses
> that terminology and the ideas it embodies, its recommendations will
> be founded on confusion, and cannot be very good.
> So I suggest that the first thing to be done is to urge that copyright
> and patents be kept off the agenda of this group.
I agree, that an abstraction, such as 'intellectual properties rights'
can confuse the issue, because it abstracts away particular content
from the topics it is purported to include and because the grouping
makes certain assumptions that are better avoided.
But, I do not see that confusion as a necessary reason to keep the
specific issues of copyright and patents off the WGIG agenda. While
they should not be included within the general category 'intellectual
properties rights' for the reasons you cite, it may be appropriate for
them to be discussed as governance issues in their own right. As I
have said about several other issues, I think this determination is
something that should be on the early agenda of the WGIG and should
include: determination of appropriateness of the topic, discussion of
other work being done on the topic, and the determination of the
ability of the WGIG both to work with organizations involved in this
area and to affect that work.
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