Some Suggestions On How To Celebrate World Intellectual Property Day
from the have-fun dept
Reader Korrupt writes in to let us know that today is apparently World Intellectual Property Day. Michael Geist notes that there seems to be a lot missing from the festivities. Right now they seem full of announcements about how countries need to do more to make their IP systems like the US. Of course, WIPO also has a wonderfully silly list of suggested activities for World Intellectual Property Day, such as “Work with local newspapers to publish editorials encouraging respect for the rights of creators” and “Mount exhibits at local shopping malls explaining how consumers benefit from strong intellectual property systems.” Since it doesn’t seem like the folks at WIPO want to use World Intellectual Property Day to actually discuss some of the deeper issues concerning whether or not intellectual property actually is useful, we thought it might be good to come up with our own list of suggested activities for World Intellectual Property Day:
- Read the Constitution of the United States. Focus on the part of Article 1, Section 8 that says the purpose of securing a monopoly on works for a limited time is only “to promote the progress of science and useful arts.”
- Read up on Thomas Jefferson’s concerns about intellectual property laws.
- Read the book Against Intellectual Monopoly that includes all sorts of research highlighting how intellectual property has hindered, rather than advanced, innovation and creativity.
- Take a look through The Chilling Effects archive to learn how many companies are misusing intellectual property to stifle free speech.
- Support the EFF for helping to stand up to those who want to take away fair use rights.
- Read up on how the RIAA’s litigation process works and explain how that helps promote music in any way.
- Send some prior art to the US Patent Office.
- Ask the US Patent Office why they consider prior art the only test for obviousness, even though the law is clear that an invention needs to be both non-obvious and original.
- Learn the difference between innovation and invention and ask why intellectual property seems unfairly tilted towards invention when it’s supposed to be promoting innovation.
- Explain how extending intellectual property protection on songs already written puts in place the incentives for those songs to be written.
And, of course in the spirit of free and open discussion on World Intellectual Property Day, we ask you to contribute your own suggestions in the comments (WIPO, oddly enough, seems to assume that it has the final word and does not ask for comments).