Singapore Creates 'IP Steering Committee' Without A Single Representative For The Public's Interest

from the total-failure dept

This keeps happening. Governments forget that the purpose of intellectual property law is to provide the best net value to the public, instead of thinking that it's just to help "industry," on the incorrect assumption that this must benefit the public in the long run. Han alerts us to the news that Singapore has now set up an "IP Steering Committee" to try to turn the city/state into an "intellectual property hub." The steering committee appears to have lots of industry representatives, and government officials who are in charge of representing the industry's interests -- but not a single person representing the interests of the public. That seems like a pretty major oversight, and more or less guarantees that what comes out of this will be abused by companies, rather than a useful and effective system for the benefit of the public.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 12:17am

    The public always has a position in the deal Mike. They get to both elect the people who appoint the committee, and they also get to vote with their dollars in choosing to purchase the resulting products - or to pirate them for free.

    You really need to get over the idea that there has to be "someone from the public" on every committee. Guess what? They are all from the public as well!

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 12:22am

    Re:

    You kindly then stop putting pro-IP only in those commitees then?

    No, then people need to be more engage just like the other guys are, what is the problem with that?

    You don't like oversight is that it?
    You don't like that others can voice their opinions in public?

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 12:23am

    Re:

    "From the public" =/= "Public interest". It's one sided. We have every right to complain.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 12:25am

    Singapore and other Asian countries have a problem, since they didn't care about IP that much now it is haunting them, since Americans and Europeans hold more IP than they do, so what they will do?

    Start a patenting race of course so they can have many patents to fight others too.

    The problem with that approach is that it ignores completely the harms that monopolies do to markets.

    People look at IP and because it has property there they get confused and assume that it must be good thing to protect property, well monopolistic practices will ruin their economies just like it did everywhere else where this crap is strong.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 12:34am

    Re:

    TAM, please learn how to read.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 1:07am

    Re:

    Note on above: "elect the people who appoint the committee"

    The People's Action Party has won every election in Singapore since independence, and has governed with a large majority of Parliament since 1966. In 2011, they won 81 of 87 seats.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 1:53am

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, Singapore it's far from a democracy. It's a patriarchy that sues opponents and critics to oblivion.

     

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  8.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 2nd, 2012 @ 2:32am

    Re: “elect the people...”

    Did you just say “elect” about Singapore?

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 2:42am

    the purpose of intellectual property law is to provide the best net value to the public, instead of thinking that it's just to help "industry," on the incorrect assumption that this must benefit the public in the long run.

    No it isn't, me thinks you need to read up more on it, no where does it say to provide net value to the public

    What are intellectual property rights?
    Intellectual property rights are the rights given to persons over the creations of their minds. They usually give the creator an exclusive right over the use of his/her creation for a certain period of time.

    Intellectual property rights are customarily divided into two main areas:

    (i) Copyright and rights related to copyright.
    The rights of authors of literary and artistic works (such as books and other writings, musical compositions, paintings, sculpture, computer programs and films) are protected by copyright, for a minimum period of 50 years after the death of the author.

    Also protected through copyright and related (sometimes referred to as “neighbouring”) rights are the rights of performers (e.g. actors, singers and musicians), producers of phonograms (sound recordings) and broadcasting organizations. The main social purpose of protection of copyright and related rights is to encourage and reward creative work.

    (ii) Industrial property. back to top

    Industrial property can usefully be divided into two main areas:

    •One area can be characterized as the protection of distinctive signs, in particular trademarks (which distinguish the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings) and geographical indications (which identify a good as originating in a place where a given characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin).

    The protection of such distinctive signs aims to stimulate and ensure fair competition and to protect consumers, by enabling them to make informed choices between various goods and services. The protection may last indefinitely, provided the sign in question continues to be distinctive.
    •Other types of industrial property are protected primarily to stimulate innovation, design and the creation of technology. In this category fall inventions (protected by patents), industrial designs and trade secrets.

    The social purpose is to provide protection for the results of investment in the development of new technology, thus giving the incentive and means to finance research and development activities.

    A functioning intellectual property regime should also facilitate the transfer of technology in the form of foreign direct investment, joint ventures and licensing.

    The protection is usually given for a finite term (typically 20 years in the case of patents).
    While the basic social objectives of intellectual property protection are as outlined above, it should also be noted that the exclusive rights given are generally subject to a number of limitations and exceptions, aimed at fine-tuning the balance that has to be found between the legitimate interests of right holders and of users.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:03am

    Aren't governments the representatives of the public?
    The public vote them in, and the deal is they get to govern for 3 to 5 years until the public vote again.
    What's the point of democratic government if you have to consult groups of residents every time you want to build a motorway, change bank interest rates, or develop an IP policy?

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:18am

    Governments DONT forget that the purpose of intellectual property law is to provide the best net value to the public, they purposefully IGNORE it!

    'not a single person representing the interests of the public. That seems like a pretty major oversight.'

    not an oversight at all! again, we all know that has been done on purpose and why. any speculation as to where the 'advice' came from and which bodies were 'assisting' in setting this up? did i just hear 'USTR, USA Entertainment Industry representatives? no? i must have a hearing problem!

     

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  12.  
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    Richard (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:28am

    Re:

    The public always has a position in the deal Mike. They get to both elect the people who appoint the committee,

    The "IP industries" are also part of the public and get to vote - so they too are represented by the government people already.

    It is true, as you say, that the public is represented - once but the IP bunch get to be represented twice!

     

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  13.  
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    Richard (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:34am

    Re:

    No it isn't, me thinks you need to read up more on it, no where does it say to provide net value to the public
    Sorry - you are flat out wrong here - you display the classic symptoms of 300 years of brainwashing.

    Both the original Statute of Anne and the US constitution clause portray the purpose of copyright and patent as for the "encouragement of learning". Clearly that purpose, translated in to modern economics-speak, is equivalent to providing net value (broadly interpreted - not purely monetary value) to the community as a whole.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:34am

    As someone who has seen how Singapore companies deal with IP I can assure everyone that most people on that board are or were industrial spies.

     

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  15.  
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    Richard (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:35am

    Re:

    on that basis you shouldn't need to consult the industry either.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:40am

    Re:

    That's a lot of text just to say "Look at me, I'm 100% wrong!"

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:51am

    Re: Re:

    Then you prove yourself completely retarded, that is from the World Trade Organazation, I do not think they are wrong

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:54am

    Re: Re:

    incorrect, you would do well to read it

    Congress shall have the Power to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries

    they PROMOTE the progress of science and useful arts, how do they do that?? I wonder, oh yes, BY SECURING for limited times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries

    that means THEY get to profit from thier work, does not have anything to with providing net value to the public

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 4:01am

    Mike you seem to think that public should benefit from IP and copyright. They shouldnt. Companies and government should be working harder to ensure more control and rights to these bodies. The public cannot be expected to do the right thing or be trusted with imporant matters.

     

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  20.  
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    Mitchell Featherston, May 2nd, 2012 @ 4:09am

    No Surprise

    It seems like when ANY government is considering changes to IP, they like to avoid getting the public involved.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 4:15am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You are wrong. Give up.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 4:16am

    Re: Re: Re:

    They're not wrong. You're just incapable of comprehending what you're reading, and are wrong.

     

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  23.  
    icon
    Keii (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 4:28am

    But you forget, Corporations ARE people, therefore the people are represented.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 4:54am

    Well...

    There is one thing you don't understand about Singapore. Appearances aside, it is most certainly not a democracy. The public has no say because it has no choice. Many seats won by the ruling party was because the opposition was too neutered to mount any kind of contest.

    Thus, I am not sure why you are harping about public representation with regards to Singapore.

     

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  25.  
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    That One Guy (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 6:02am

    Re:

    How sad is it that I honestly can't tell if you're joking/being sarcastic or not?

    I mean the ideas you raise are so absolutely insane that one would think that no one could ever try and rationally defend them, but I've still seen shills/trolls do that very thing more than once, so...

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 7:10am

    Adam Smith Was Right

    "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." -- Adam Smith, 1776

    That is precisely what will be happening in the Singapore IP steering committee. Really, grown up pollies should know better.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 8:05am

    Re: Well...

    The government still represents the "public" at the table. You may not like how they get the power, you may not like how they keep the power, but they are the often mentioned "we the poeple" when it comes to these things.

     

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  28.  
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    AzureSky (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 9:15am

    Re:

    but....but...but....piracy!!!

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The courts say you are wrong. Try reading through http://www.copyhype.com/2011/05/who-benefits-from-copyright/ for some very nice examples. And please, don't beg off because it's Copyhype. Instead, read the quotes then go to the bottom of the page for the footnotes which give clear references.

     

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  30.  
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    AzureSky (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 9:22am

    Re: No Surprise

    because they have no respect for the public, we are not rich, we are not powerful, we should in there eyes, sit down, shut up and be happy with what we are given, even if its a plate of moldy crap.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 10:12am

    Re: Re: No Surprise.. OMG you got a plate....

    OMG you actually got a plate....

    you are so lucky, all we get are steaming piles of moldy crap, and we get to like it or else...

    Yes, Maam, May I please have another?

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Does not have anything to do with providing net value to the public Other than promoting the progress of the science and useful arts you mean? Or are you trying to say that's not a net value to the public?

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: Well...

    How does the government represent the public if the elections are all scams and the government is corrupt, exactly? It's got nothing at all to do with liking how they got the power or how they keep the power and everything to do with the factual observation that if the government didn't get the power and keep the power in fair, free elections they don't represent the public at all.

     

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  34.  
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    btr1701 (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 12:37pm

    Re:

    > What's the point of democratic government

    What makes you think Singapore is a democratic government?

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wow you proved yourself wrong. Awesome.

    From that quote, securing for limited times the exclusive rights to writings and descoveries is only the method, promoting the progress of the science and the useful arts(benefitting the public) is the point of that method.

    Also note that "promoting science" refers to copyright, it wasn't intended for things like helping lady gaga profit for her latest album

     

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  36.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 4:11pm

    Re:

    Aren't governments the representatives of the public?


    No.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 5:28pm

    Speaking as someone who actually lives here I should point out that in some reports (though the bias of said reports might not be reliable) that we supposedly have the highest rate of software piracy or some other bilge along those similar lines.

    As much as I can't disagree with the whole "PAP being in charge" thing, I think the citizens aren't going to be so easily cowed. The Odex scenario was one case study that few people are willing to take kindly to RIAA-style tactics of enforcing IP.

     

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