Why Is UNESCO Supporting Locking Up Information?

from the that-doesn't-seem-right dept

Today may be World Intellectual Property Day, but this past Friday was also apparently World Book and Copyright Day (quite a bookended weekend for government monopolies on knowledge!). Bas Grasmayer points out that UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which is supposed to be focused on "promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture" oddly chose Friday's "World Book and Copyright Day" to launch an "anti-piracy observatory."

This is bizarre for all sorts of reasons. An organization focused on encouraging education and international collaboration seems like the last place that would be supporting locking up information through government-granted monopolies. This "observatory" appears to have little interest in determining whether or not stronger copyright actually promotes international collaboration through education, science and culture -- and simply assumes it must. Given that the actual evidence on this particular topic -- especially in developing nations where you would think UNESCO would be most concerned -- suggests exactly the opposite, it's quite troubling that UNESCO would take this particular position. It's a position that harms developing nations solely to benefit a few corporations. That doesn't seem like a position UNESCO would support.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2010 @ 4:04pm

    standard dribble. think about the children, oh, a few corporations will get rich! what you didnt mention is that all those books have authors, editors, publishers, distributors, and many, many other people who earn a livelihood from writing and publishing books. it isnt just a few corporations, but its a really nice try to make it sound like nothing more than greedy companies. another fail and another overreach from the masnick.

     

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      Richard (profile), Apr 26th, 2010 @ 4:19pm

      Re:

      Try actually reading the post next time - you might be able to write a relevant comment!

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2010 @ 4:30pm

        Re: Re:

        "it's quite troubling that UNESCO would take this particular position. It's a position that harms developing nations solely to benefit a few corporations. That doesn't seem like a position UNESCO would support."

        i read it just fine.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2010 @ 4:44pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          ". . . it's quite troubling that UNESCO would take this particular position. It's a position that harms developing nations solely to benefit a few authors, editors, publishers, distributors, and many, many other people. That doesn't seem like a position UNESCO would support."

          So why are those few people, compared to all those people in a developing nation, more important than, oh, I forgot. Because intellectual property is a right handed down from God.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2010 @ 6:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            what do you consider a few? 100,000? a million? how many people do you think are involved worldwide in writing, producing, distributing, selling, marketing, shipping, and so on of the written word, including the words on the internet, in magazines, etc? try not to re-write the story again to cover for the masnick.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2010 @ 6:39pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              There is more information/knowledge/content that is shared freely than there is information/knowledge/content that is copyrighted. Is fighting copyright infringement more important than sharing knowledge?

              With an incredible amount of people in the world carrying supercopying machines in their pockets?

              And the publishing industry is shrinking because 20th century distribution schemes are becoming increasingly irrelevant in the 21st century.

              Shipping? Really? You're worried about all those people who might lose their shipping jobs?

              Artists will continue to create art with or without copyright.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2010 @ 6:51pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                nope. they can keep sharing all that free information, which is free in part because someone created it and it has become free over time. without respect to copyright holders, many sources of new information might never make it out there, books might not be written, and so on. dont make the marginal mistake that the masnick makes: distribution is nothing without content. remove the content and you are distributing nothing.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2010 @ 6:56pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  [citation needed]

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2010 @ 7:02pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  If I recall techdirt's content is freely reusable, or at least mike's stuff is. So the very site you posted your comment on proved said comment wrong. YOU. FAIL.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2010 @ 9:20pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    content still had to be created. without it they would be sharing nothing. i know its hard to imagine but someone actually has to do this. mike freely shares his content because it has little actual value once it is published. opinion pieces typically are of little value over time.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2010 @ 11:34pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Content will be created with or without copyright.

                      Exhibit A: the past, present and the future.

                       

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                      Dementia (profile), Apr 27th, 2010 @ 5:33am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Actually, while Mike's content has value because of the discussions that ensue once it is published. At least, some of us that read the site regularly feel that way. Whether you choose to believe it or not is simply not relevant. Regardless, to say that people in developing nations, of which I'm sure the number exceeds several million, are less important that publishers and shippers, shows the little regard you hold for the rest of humanity.

                       

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                      DH's love child, Apr 27th, 2010 @ 6:42am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "content still had to be created. without it they would be sharing nothing. i know its hard to imagine but someone actually has to do this. mike freely shares his content because it has little actual value once it is published. opinion pieces typically are of little value over time."\


                      Well, I've got news for you. the VAST majority of content I consume (ie music) was created LONG before copywrong existed. I am a musician and composer and I have a VERY large library of sheet music from the public domain that, believe it or not, was never copyrighted and was composed in the last 10 years. Just because the content isn't copyrighted, doesn't mean it doesn't have value. I publish all of my music to the public domain and people who value it, use it.

                      It's very elitist to assume that only content which has to be paid for has value. Most people value FACTS, for example. And much to the chagrin of you and your other IP maximalist supporters, they are available FREE. $$$!=VALUE

                      Logic fail

                       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2010 @ 4:37pm

        Re: Re:

        True that

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2010 @ 5:48pm

    ...I'll give it another go.

    @Richard: True that
    @the other Anonymous Coward: Reread the first two sentences of the second paragraph.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2010 @ 6:12pm

    The media and entertainment industry have actually brainwashed everyone into thinking that because you wrote a book or a song or a movie you deserve to be paid and paid a lot and your family for the next 7 generations. Why society just goes along with this is a mystery to me. I create websites but don't charge people every time they go to one of my websites. The client pays me for work performed and it's a done deal. If a plumber installs a toilet in my house I don't pay him every time I flush. I know that that's a bit facetious so save the sarcasm. I'm sick of hearing all this crap about the poor author and his great great grandchildren that may have to work for a living. Stop the government from subsidizing entertainers and authors by permitting these monopolies!

     

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Apr 27th, 2010 @ 7:13pm

      Re:

      "The media and entertainment industry have actually brainwashed everyone into thinking that because you wrote a book or a song or a movie you deserve to be paid and paid a lot and your family for the next 7 generations."

      Well, they may have succeeded there even if the reality is that far less than 0.0001% of those doing the sorts of things you (and they) talk about will ever be paid for any of it much less see it published/recorded,seen,blogged about or whatever.

      Even should that happen the entertainment industry will use, as it always has, accounting practises which would be criminally fraudulent in any other busiess to avoid paying the "artists" they work with. Well, not paying them much or anywhere near the amount of product their name on the product moved.

      None of that makes much difference in the fact that UNESCO should be a couple of universes away from "piracy" observatories or whatver.

       

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    HuwOS, Apr 26th, 2010 @ 6:20pm

    Way to miss the point people.
    Whether you are in favour of enforcing copyright to the nth degree or not, the question is what the heck has it to do with UNESCO.
    On the face of it, a body, the point of which is to encourage international collaboration on reasearch amongst other things has no obvious hook to any anti-piracy activism.

     

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    opit (profile), Apr 26th, 2010 @ 8:33pm

    UNESCO

    Don't any of you lot read 'conspiracy theories' ? When something patently doesn't make sense on the face of it...start looking behind the 'Mission Statement' and see what actual results of activities are. It's good science...and it's good detective work about Politics.
    http://conspiracyrealitytv.com/brief-history-of-the-uns-unesco-conspiracy-nwo-propaganda- conditioning-the-masses-in-preparation-for-one-world-government/
    That was one result of a search on parameters 'UNESCO and the NWO' Give it Hell !

     

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    Yogi, Apr 26th, 2010 @ 9:38pm

    What's the surprise?

    Can there be a more corrupt body than the UN?

    If the copyright industry can rush through a satanic copyright bill in the British parliament, and get the governments of the world to consider a law (ACTA) that they actually wrote by themselves and solely for themselves, against the interests of citizens and consumers worldwide, then it should come as no surprise that the RIAA and MPAA can and would subvert the UN.

    A UN official probably doesn't cost that much anyway.

     

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    v, Apr 26th, 2010 @ 10:53pm

    Hah, UNESCO, it's a joke, why are you even expecting something different? The current director of UNESCO is a Moscow-trained hereditary Bulgarian nomenklatura, and her father was basically the Bulgarian Goebbels, was in the politburo all his life. He is famous for and was praised for personally killing leading Bulgarian intellectuals using only the butt of his rifle immediately after the Soviet invasion.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2010 @ 1:52am

    Tyranny of the minority against the majority... that's what Copyright is all about.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2010 @ 6:59am

    Nineteen Eighty-Four

    Why Is UNESCO Supporting Locking Up Information? It's called doublethink, from Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, where agencies do the opposite of what they claim. Isn't this great?

     

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    Samir Allioui, Apr 27th, 2010 @ 10:57am

    wh00t

    Bas Grasmayer is a boardmember of the Dutch Pirate Party.

    Go Pirate parties ! Keep up the good work !

     

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