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WIPO Worried About Why Countries Feel They Needed ACTA Process Outside Of WIPO

from the routing-around dept

Earlier this year, in discussing ACTA, some observers noted that it was quite telling that those involved in the ACTA negotiations were clearly routing around WIPO, the organization that was already in place to deal with those kinds of discussions. The explanation was that the negotiators were upset that the copyright holders no longer had full control over the WIPO agenda, and WIPO had dared to let consumer rights groups into the discussion. So the purpose of ACTA was to get around having to include such groups. It appears that WIPO, itself, is quite concerned about what's going on with ACTA, suggesting that he's worried that these countries no longer believe the WIPO process works.
"A number of countries feel [there is] an important area of public policy they are not able to address in a multilateral forum, and so have gone outside the multilateral framework to satisfy their desire for creating some form of 'international' cooperation," Gurry told Intellectual Property Watch in an interview last week. "That's the challenge, for us. And whether it concerns enforcement, ACTA, or any other area, that, on the whole, is a bad development for a multilateral agency, that member states start to do things outside."
I'd argue that he's being a bit too hard on himself. It's not that the WIPO process doesn't work (though, I do have some problems with the WIPO process as well), but that the copyright holders were upset that they no longer had near unilateral control over the process. It wasn't that they felt WIPO couldn't address the issues, but that it would be much harder to get them addressed in the way industry folks wanted.

As part of the discussion, he also pointed to the recent fight over helping the blind access more content through exceptions in copyright law -- an WIPO process that has been stymied by industry interests who don't like to see any new exceptions applied to copyright. To WIPO, that gridlock on such an obviously reasonable solution is worrying:
The frustration it has caused is a consequence of practical issues not being addressed, he said, citing recent difficult discussions in the Standing Committee on Copyrights and Related Rights on increased access for visually impaired persons. "Can anyone not subscribe to that principle, as a general rule?" he asked, with visually impaired readers only obtaining access to about five percent of all published work in reasonable time.

"Can anyone stand up and say that they should not have more [access], that we should not do something about it?" It is such an obvious question, he said "but we are not getting an agreement" although the last meeting showed genuine involvement of member countries.
If anything, what this demonstrates is not any problems with the WIPO process, but a group of organizations so used to getting their way on copyright issues so totally and completely, that they're not used to facing people questioning the actual impact of the regulations and international agreements they push. When that happened, they decided to take their ball and go home to play with only their friends. That's what ACTA is really about.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 8:54pm

    wipo is often toothless and more of a discussion for the sake of discussion thing (makes the un look powerful and meaningful). if wipo actually did something, perhaps more people would be gathering around. instead, it has become and excuse by third world countries to join and ignore, and then use the long, drawn out processes to stall any real progress.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 8:55pm

    ...When that happened, they decided to take their ball and go home to play with only their friends. That's what ACTA is really about.


    That is part but not all, after ACTA is put in practice what those countries will try to do is force others to be part of it, they will try economic sanction, public smearing campaigns and all the other tools available to them to bring ACTA to the rest of the world and to gullible developing countries, unfortunately for them the G50 was formed and they are no longer the only market people have, this could be a boom for the BRIC if they play their cards right.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 9:16pm

    ...When that happened, they decided to take their ball and go home to play with only their friends. That's what ACTA is really about.


    That is part but not all, after ACTA is put in practice what those countries will try to do is force others to be part of it, they will try economic sanction, public smearing campaigns and all the other tools available to them to bring ACTA to the rest of the world and to gullible developing countries, unfortunately for them the G50 was formed and they are no longer the only market people have, this could be a boom for the BRIC if they play their cards right.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Aerilus (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 9:24pm

    Re:

    I don't think i have ever heard an example of democracy described so well or so succinctly, as long as all the industry groups are kept talking and no one is killing anyone everyone can pretty much do what they want and not worry about being thrown in jail or charged in a court of law for trivial matters. but then again it seems like the goal of every interest group is to make it a crime to violate their interest.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 9:39pm

    "but a group of organizations so used to getting their way on copyright issues so totally and completely, that they're not used to facing people questioning the actual impact of the regulations and international agreements they push."

    Because 95 year copyright length just isn't long enough.

     

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  6.  
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    Richard (profile), Jul 7th, 2010 @ 2:31am

    Re:

    (WIPO) has become an excuse by third world countries to join and ignore, and then use the long, drawn out processes to stall any real progress.

    Actually you are agreeing with Mike's article here - the only difference between you and him is the definition of the word progress - which to you seems to mean ever greater scope of IP protections, ever longer copyright terms and ever more draconian enforcement (paid for by the public of course not by the industry).

    What has happened is that WIPO has to a small extent seen the error of this way of thinking which is why your cronies are trying to bypass it.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2010 @ 5:42am

    Re: Re:

    richard, first i have no cronies (if i did, they would be out mowing my lawn). far from it.

    "ever more draconian enforcement (paid for by the public of course not by the industry)." - just want to point out that if there is no infringement, there is no need for enforcement. are you suggesting that victims of theft or perhaps identity fraud should be forced to pay police before they act? are you suggesting that law enforcement should be selective in who they help, and perhaps set up a list of prices of what it will cost before they will answer your call to report your car stolen?

    enforcement isnt draconian, it is only applying the law. if you dont like the law, change the law. dont blame the people who enforce it.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 7th, 2010 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "enforcement isnt draconian, it is only applying the law. if you dont like the law, change the law. dont blame the people who enforce it."

    You obviously want to see draconian IP enforcement following in the same foot steps as the drug war. With no knock warrants, peoples houses being seized for a iPod full of mp3's, jail time for downloading a movie.

    ACTA will be implemented in some form. When it is ... Why try to change the law? Just by pass it. Its easy enough, its just a matter of getting all the players outside of ACTA, the content industries, and IP maximalists on the same page. Getting CC, EFF, PKI, Geist, etc together and hammering out what copyright should look like. Presenting the same unified plan across the board and setting rules, standards, and agreements that anyone can understand. Rules that dont contradict each other. Standards that are simple to implement. Agreements that are completely explained with full educational material on their use.

    You wouldn't need to change the law, just set up an alternate system and wait for the content and IP industries and maximalists to keep pushing. The inevitable public backlash would cause one hell of a large catastrophic failure in the media distribution and IP industries.

    This is the main reason for the attacks on EFF, PKI, CC over the past couple weeks. They dont want any alternatives to the system they have in place.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2010 @ 7:05am

    Since there's no such thing as "intellectual property," let these doofuses take their ball and play amongst themselves. Reality will continue to reality and people will continue to subvert copyright and other now-totally-retarded restrictions.

     

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    johnjac (profile), Jul 7th, 2010 @ 7:22am

    Not to be 'that guy' Nit-picky guy.

    Mike,

    Not to be picky but "he" in the article don't have an antecedent. Who is he?

     

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  11.  
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    Aerilus (profile), Jul 7th, 2010 @ 8:00pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    you do, have you ever had an alarm system after the police respond more than a certain amount of times they start charging you the same goes for extra security if you want your interest to have extra protected you have to pay the police or hire them off duty at least that is how it operates in North Carolina. the point if you want extra police protection you have to pay for it or you get the normal 45 minute response time and after the fact clean up that everyone else gets

     

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  12.  
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    Natanael L (profile), Jul 26th, 2010 @ 11:30am

    Re:

    You mean 95 *after death*.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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