from the isn't-this-for-the-public-interest dept
We've already written about how WIPO caved to US pressure (along with a few other countries) in delaying a decision on whether or not the Pirate Parties International group can act as an observer at WIPO meetings. However, in the KEI report that revealed that decision, there was also a separate story worth highlighting as well: the news that the US is pushing for WIPO to hold an intellectual property maximalist day, but has no interest in hearing what public interest groups have to say.
In another development, the US said it is asked that WIPO set aside a regular day for corporate right holder groups. One member of the US delegate said they wanted a "Davos type" format, with CEOs of leading companies interacting with government delegates and WIPO officials. When asked, have you proposed similar event for consumer, public health and development groups, the answer was no. The US said its proposal at WIPO for the right-holders day had a lot of support. It also comes at the same time that the pharmaceutical and processed food industries are seeking more direct roles in the governance of the World Health Organization (WHO), under a "WIPO Reform" negotiation.This is, of course, not particularly surprising, though it is troubling. Considering, again, that we're told that the purpose of these laws is to benefit the public, even as these companies often pretend it's really just about benefiting them, it would seem that any such event should have a very high level of participation by the public itself, including various public interest groups.
Update: Some good additional info from Nick Ashton-Hart who was in the room when this was proposed, and who says that it's not as bad as the original report suggested. Instead, he points out that the request did not come from industry sources, and isn't about big rightsholders, but about actually getting real innovators and inventors to come and tell WIPO officials what they do -- which could actually be useful. I'm still concerned about how this would be set up in reality, but perhaps it's not as bad as it sounded from the original report.