Librarians lobby for change in global copyright


From Library Journal:

Last week, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) met in Geneva, and a group of librarians and other copyright advocates aimed to urge WIPO to change. WIPO, a global body that sets standards regulating the production, distribution and use of knowledge, has focused too much on enforcing the rights of copyright conglomerates in the digital age, critics argue, to the detriment of developing nations and individual creators. In a lengthy petition now circulating on library electronic discussion lists, advocates for more balance in world copyright enforcement blasted what they call "a global crisis in the governance of knowledge, technology and culture." The petition has been endorsed by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), the American Library Association, the American Association of Law Libraries, the Association of Research Libraries, the Special Libraries Association, among other groups ...

Complete article. More information on the Geneva Declaration on the Future of the World Intellectual Property Organization is here.


At least since the days of the Clinton Administration (and probably earlier), the United States has been in the forefront of nations arguing for superstrong copyright. Our executive branch (under both Democrat and Republican presidents) gets extreme measures such as the 1998 copyright extension adopted by WIPO. They then come to back to Congress and say "You must pass these measures -- It's international law!"You can find an example of this today in the US efforts to include language on broadcast flags in the WIPO broadcast treaty.

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