Does Violating Intellectual Property Rights Make You A Terrorist?

from the seems-a-bit...-far-fetched dept

It used to be that any hope for a reasonable debate was ended the second anyone called someone else a “Nazi” (see Godwin’s Law). These days, perhaps it should be amended to include anyone calling someone else a “terrorist.” Remember a few months back when the World Intellectual Property Organization cancelled a meeting about open source along with a quote that open source was “contrary to the goals of WIPO.” Apparently that wasn’t a one-off statement. Instead of exploring issues related to intellectual property, WIPO seems to now firmly believe that there is one and only one way to use intellectual property: and that’s to lock it up. WIPO’s director, Kamil Idris, was quoted today saying that “Piracy is like terrorism today.” This leaves little (if any) room for an open debate on how there are ways to support intellectual property without having to lock it all up. While the quote is talking about counterfeit products that aren’t up to the safety levels of original products, it’s way too broad a statement. Certainly, these counterfeit products are dangerous and something should be done about them. However, simply equating all intellectual property violations with “terrorism” goes too far. In the same talk Idris claims that stronger enforcement of intellectual property rights could help developing nations improve their economies. This, of course, is exactly the opposite of what a few studies have found, saying that developing nations would be much stronger without such draconian intellectual property laws. But why should Idris rely on studies when he’s in charge of WIPO and his opinion must be right on all things related to intellectual property?

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Comments on “Does Violating Intellectual Property Rights Make You A Terrorist?”

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aNonMooseCowherd says:

terrorists love closed source because they can sub

The way to fight fire is with fire. If the position in favor of open source is phrased in terms of closed source being a haven for terrorists, because they can infiltrate the closed source vendors and insert back doors in the software with little worry about ever being caught, while open source can be audited by anyone, then maybe people will catch on.

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