Two notes from the copyfight front

February 27th, 2005 – 5:24 pm
Tagged as: Uncategorized

In case you hadn’t heard, Kembrew McLeod’s new book, “Freedom of Expression(R): Overzealous Copyright Bozos and Other Enemies of Creativity,” is now available as a free Creative Commons licensed PDF (in addition to the more traditional paper format) via his website. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but the reviews I’ve seen (and what I’ve managed to glance through) make it seem like that’s something I should get around to doing before too long. I may well just buy a copy though, rather than trying to read it on my computer screen.

In other news on the same general topic, WIPO is trying to keep consumer groups (as well as other copyright reform groups) from participating in the upcoming Development Agenda meetings:

EFF and its friends are making amazing progress at the World Intellectual Property Organization: we’ve got dozens of non-governmental organizations in the pipe to attend the meetings in Geneva, and it’s clear that the rightsholders are scared. At the last meeting we attended, our documents were stolen and dropped in the trash in the toilets. Now, with a meeting coming up to discuss the “Development Agenda” — a catch-all term for WIPO initiatives that make new copyright and patent rules that try to help developing countries, rather than exploit them — the International Bureau is cooking the process. They’ve decided to exclude “ad-hoc observers” (the category that nearly all of the copyright reform groups fall under) in favor of “permanent observers” (a category dominated by motion picture studios, broadcasters and other gigantic rightsholder interests).

Basically, if you’re not there to push for stronger controls on IP, they don’t want you there. Why? It’s a debate the big rightsholders (who only care about locking in their profits) can’t actually win, because the reformers have the better arguments, so instead they’re trying to just exclude their opponents.

[links via Boing Boing]

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