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<nettime> IP theft 'terrorism': WIPO
ben moretti on Thu, 4 Dec 2003 07:19:46 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> IP theft 'terrorism': WIPO

# is this like thoughtcrime? and as if price gouging
# developing countries on pharmaceuticals isn't 
# fucking terrorism...b


IP theft 'terrorism': WIPO
Correspospondents in Geneva
DECEMBER 04, 2003   
 PIRACY of the know-how to make products from machines
to branded baby shampoo is a form of terrorism and
must be stopped, the head of the World Intellectual
Property Organization (WIPO) said.  
 In addition, the enforcement of intellectual property
rights by developing countries was crucial to boost
their economies, the director-general, Kamil Idris
"Piracy is a very serious problem, and this is why
when people discuss piracy it is not a north-south
issue," he said. 

"Piracy is like terrorism today and it exists
everywhere and it is a very dangerous phenomenon." 

Mr Idris described how he had heard of children dying
after using counterfeit baby shampoo and warned of the
potentially disastrous consequences of relying on
machines that had been made using an illicitly
duplicated model. 

Last month, the World Health Organisation said that up
to 25 per cent of medicines consumed in developing
nations were believed to be counterfeit or
substandard, and it warned they could be useless,
harmful or even deadly. 

"We would like to have consensus by all countries and
all nations that piracy is a very dangerous phenomenon
today," declared Mr Idris. 

WIPO lacked the power to interfere with national
jurisdictions to ensure that intellectual property
laws forbidding piracy were implemented, he said. 

But the UN agency says it is actively involved in
building awareness, the demystification of what
intellectual property means and training law
enforcement authorities. 

"Our efforts are related to persuading governments to
adopt national mechanisms in order to fight this
phenomenon," explained Mr Idris. 

"I know that combating piracy is not an easy task, but
it requires efforts of governments and international
organisations and of course the NGO (non-governmental
organisation) community." 

Idris also insisted that better enforcement of
intellectual property rights - such as patents for
inventions or copyright for songs - could stoke the
economic engines of many poor nations. 

The WIPO chief said he recently met a number of
Caribbean ministers who told him they believed a
greater protection of their home-grown art and culture
was "a matter of life or death for their economy". 

Turning to China - which was required to strengthen
national legislation against counterfeiting before it
joined the World Trade Organization at the end of 2001
- Mr Ibris said the country was making progress, but
more challenges lay ahead. 

International treaties had been signed, national
legislation to protect know-how was in place and
measures to enforce these laws had also been created,
observed the director-general. 

"But enforcement, the way we want it, still has a long
way to go and it continues to be a controversial
issue," he admitted. 

Agence France-Presse 

ben moretti

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