Consumer Group Points Out That IP Laws Are Often Anti-Consumer And Need To Be Fixed
from the people-are-realizing... dept
While most people still don’t pay much attention to the harm caused by out of control intellectual property law, it does appear that recognition of this issue is growing daily. We often hear the refrain that “intellectual property laws will never change, so why bother pointing out their problems,” which is an incredibly defeatist attitude. Slowly but surely, the evidence is mounting, and as we see more cases of situations like Russia’s abuse of copyright laws to suppress dissent, people will begin to realize how far gone these laws have become.
The latest case of a group recognizing the issue is Consumers International, who have begun a new campaign to point out how intellectual property is quite frequently used in anti-consumer ways, well beyond its stated intention. According to IP-Watch:
Copyright and patent laws “are often misused” for reasons that have “more to do with limiting competition and preventing consumers from making innovative uses of their products” than they do with stopping piracy, global consumer advocacy group Consumers International plans to tell a UN internet meeting today….
Consumers International is asking for an amendment of the UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection [pdf], which was first adopted 25 years ago, the group said in a press release. Jeremy Malcolm, the Consumers International project director for IP and communications, said that IP rights and human rights have “for too long” been framed as having similar status, when misuse of IP interferes with “freedom of expression, education and participation in cultural life.”
It’s unlikely that this will have much impact initially, but it’s hard to deny that more and more people are recognizing the problems of an out of control intellectual property system that has been the result of decades upon decades of regulatory capture.