Public Domain MIA

Pr Lessig laments about the level of ignorance of the WIPO about the public domain.

In the extremists in power, he notes the ignorance (as in not knowing what you're talking about) of:

Lois Boland, director of international relations for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, who said “that open-source software runs counter to the mission of WIPO, which is to promote intellectual-property rights.” As she is quoted as saying, “To hold a meeting which has as its purpose to disclaim or waive such rights seems to us to be contrary to the goals of WIPO.”

In balance in exile, he recalls the ignorance (as in if we ignore it, it will disappear) of:

Maria CATTAUI, Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce, [who] scolded me that issues of “intellectual property” were not to be discussed because they were “exclusively” the concern of WIPO.

I promptly threw away the talk I had intended to give, and gave a completely different talk about how — Ms. Cattaui’s scolding notwithstanding — it was crucial that a summit on the world “information society” consider the role of the public domain in spreading knowledge and culture even if WIPO claimed exclusive jurisdiction of the matter. That assured I won’t be invited back to WSIS anytime soon (or at least by Ms. Cattaui).

It is therefore extraordinary now that people purporting to speak for WIPO would say that WIPO too is not to consider issues about the public domain. Neither at WIPO, nor at WSIS, nor apparently anywhere.

Why is so difficult to understand that one cannot define property as just private property, excluding the public domain, as one cannot describe "bad" without "good", or "plus" without "minus"? Still confusing commons with communism?

mensuelles Archives

Recent Entries

  • Steve Jobs

    "Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because...

  • Your privacy on MOTOBLUR by Motorola

    After the Nokia Ovi Store carelessness, it's now Motorola who's allowing strangers to get access to your private information on their MOTOBLUR portal. Exactly like...

  • How to resume a broken ADC download

    (I'm documenting this trick for myself to remember, but it can be useful for others…) Apple, on its Apple Developer Connection site, has a bad...

  • WTF is this ‘myEventWatcherDiv’ doing in my web?

    All of a sudden I started to find the following line in most of the web pages I was browsing, including ones I made where...

  • Your privacy on Nokia Ovi Store

    My friend Adam Greenfield recently complained about the over-engineering culture at Nokia: I was given an NFC phone, and told to tap it against the...