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<nettime> U.S. ignores public interest at World Intellectual Property Or
Sasha Costanza-Chock on Sat, 16 Apr 2005 06:32:59 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> U.S. ignores public interest at World Intellectual Property Organization


April 14, 2005

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Frannie Wellings, (202) 265-1490, x 21
Russ Newman, (413) 585-1533, x 12

U.S. ignores public interest at World Intellectual Property Organization

Free Press supports demand for a more balanced international system of
copyright, patents and trademarks

WASHINGTON -- Free Press, the nonpartisan media reform group, today
endorsed a series of proposed reforms to the World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO), a U.N. organization whose mission is to "promote
the protection of intellectual property throughout the world." The
Development Agenda reforms would transform the nature of the
organization and make it more accountable to public interest concerns.

"The World Intellectual Property Organization has been a tool of
industry for too long," said Sasha Costanza-Chock, global policy
coordinator of Free Press. "The Development Agenda proposal would reform
WIPO so that the needs of people in both developing and developed
countries would come before the profit margins of Big Media."

WIPO is responsible for administration of 23 international treaties on
copyright, patents and other forms of "intellectual property rights."
The Development Agenda proposal, written by Brazil and Argentina, backed
by 12 other developing countries, and supported by hundreds of public
interest organizations and scientists, would prioritize development
concerns within all WIPO work.

Currently, WIPO pushes developing country governments to adopt strict,
U.S.-style copyright, patent and trademark laws, which focus on
protecting corporations. The U.S. delegation to WIPO, headed by Paul
Salmon of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is opposing the move to
reform WIPO.

"The Development Agenda proposal is an attempt to ensure the rights of
all to have access to knowledge," Costanza-Chock said. "The U.S.
government should be supporting the free flow of information, not
protecting the monopoly control of information by multinational
corporations. It's clear to anyone who isn't on the industry payroll
that the current global system of patents and copyrights is wildly out
of balance, tilted in the extreme to protect the monopoly rights of big
corporations over the rights of the public."

Free Press and the Consumer Project on Technology have teamed up to
provide blow-by-blow coverage of events, blogging from inside the WIPO
negotiations. Daily reports and more information on WIPO are available
at www.mediatrademonitor.org.

###

Free Press (www.freepress.net) is a national, nonpartisan organization
that seeks to increase informed public participation in media policy and
to promote a more competitive, public interest-oriented media system.
Free Press was founded by University of Illinois professor, media
scholar and author Robert W. McChesney.

###


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