The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Would Like To Know What You Think Of Them (Sorta)

from the but-mainly-if-you-think-ip-is-awesome dept

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has a pretty long history of basically being the leading supporter of ever stricter and more ridiculous copyright (and patent and trademark laws). To be fair, in recent years, WIPO has actually been somewhat more open to at least hearing from folks actually representing the public, who have pointed out that stronger IP laws often do much more harm than good for wider society. But, on the whole, the group is still very much representing the interests of copyright, patent and trademark holders, rather than the general public. It’s why the group gets called out for crazy ideas like making service providers into IP cops and suggesting that things would have been better if the web had been patented.

Either way, it appears that WIPO has hired a company to reach out to get “Stakeholder Perceptions of WIPO.” It’s pretty rare that WIPO actually hears from the public that its efforts and agreements really impact, so here’s a chance to make sure WIPO knows what you think of its efforts to expand IP law over the years… Have at it, and let them know your thoughts.

Unfortunately, many of the questions are kind of ridiculous in the “and when did you stop beating your wife” variety. For example, at one point they ask you to “rank” how important specific WIPO priorities are — and looking down the list, I though pretty much all of them should not be priorities, because all of them focused on expanding IP, rather than looking at more effective IP, or even exploring where IP might hurt the public. There are a few other questions like that as well, where I wanted to challenge the nature of the question itself, but was forced to choose the “least bad” or “least incorrect” answer instead. Still, there were a few opportunities to make it clear to WIPO that you’d prefer the organization not just be a representative to expand IP at all costs, but one that should pay attention to what actually helps society the most — even if that means cutting back on some IP rules — something that seems to be completely foreign to WIPO’s world view so far.

It’s really unfortunate that WIPO would stack the questions so badly such that the only thing you can really say for most of them is just how awesome IP is and how much better it would be if IP expanded. But hopefully some of you will figure out ways to make it clear to WIPO that perhaps it should be focusing on making sure the public benefits, not just how to expand IP.

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Comments on “The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Would Like To Know What You Think Of Them (Sorta)”

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saulgoode (profile) says:

That was painful

… yet I figured it was best to take the survey lest their “tell us how great we are” received 100% positive response.

I answered a lot of the questions about the “importance of IP” with “I don’t know”. I know that IP is significant — in the same way that cancer is significant — but I do not know whether they would presume “importance” to equate with “desirable”.

About the only question which I was entirely happy with my answer was “Which organization has the greatest impact on IP?”, to which I responded “Other: Motion Picture Artists Association“.

CK20XX (user link) says:

The survey actually has a lot of blanks you can use to get the bigger picture across. Some ideas:

6. Who do you believe is the global leader in the protection and promotion of IP?

– Other, please specify: Nobody

10. Who do you believe is the global leader in the provision of IP-related products and services?

– Other, please specify: Each is as bad as the other

14. What is/are the primary news/media source(s) that you use to stay informed about IP issues?

Please name the news/media source(s) in the space below (Max 300 characters)

None, really.

Copyright and IP protection are monopolies granted by society for the good thereof. Content providers culturally, economically and otherwise have selfishly abused this. Now Hollywood and IP Enforcement groups are the enemies of modern society. They are the real online pirates.

24. In the past 6-12 months have you used the following WIPO communications tools? Please rate these tools.

YouTube: Very Poor

If you have responded ?Poor? or ?Very Poor? please comment: Aren’t organizations like WIPO responsible for ruining YouTube in the first place? How can culture spread and diversify when people are bickering over who owns what? Heavy handed IP enforcement results in many potential customers being collateral damage, plus it misses the opportunity to use YouTube as free advertising. If you treat your customers with love and respect, you’ll be fine, but if you treat them with disdain, they’ll return the sentiment.

Overcast (profile) says:

Wouldn’t this above ‘survey’ be stealing IP from this patent?

” compiling said knowledge and information into data objects, said data objects defining logic trees that represent the cumulative knowledge and information regarding a plurality of situations that are expected to be encountered by said users;
storing said data objects in a central database in a network; and
providing electronic access to said database with a plurality of client devices, said client devices being adapted to store locally a copy of each of said data objects for offline utilization by said users with said client devices wherein changes to any of said data objects stored in said central database are automatically reflected in said local copies of said changed data objects through a synchronization process that occurs whenever said client device accesses services provided by said network.”

Aren’t they supposed to ‘protect IP’ and not outright steal it for use on their own web site?

Seriously now.

Overcast (profile) says:

Oh my bad, wrong link… here we go:

United States Patent Application 20080288276
Kind Code A1
Harris; Richard D. November 20, 2008

“A system for survey data acquisition and analysis, including: at least one central processing system, including a storage device, a processing device and a communication device; and at least one portable computing device, including: a display device configured to visually display content to a user, the content comprising at least one survey question; an input device for receiving survey data input by the user in response to the at least one survey question; a processing device for processing the survey data input by the user; and a communication device in communication with the communication device of the at least one central processing system for transmitting or receiving data. The processing device of the at least one central processing system processes survey data received from the at least one portable computing device. Further methods and processes for survey data acquisition and analysis are also disclosed. “

So – in this case, isn’t the WIPO in violation here?

DanZee (profile) says:

Kicked me out

I thought it was interesting that I checked the box that said I was only somewhat familiar with the WIPO, and this is what it told me:

“The survey questions are of a very detailed and specific nature that requires a strong familiarity with WIPO and its operations.

“In the interest of your time the survey will terminate here.”

I guess only experts need apply.

Yartrebo (profile) says:

The Survey is Terrible

I tried taking the survey. The first time it didn’t let me finish, because I said I had no experience with WIPO (which is true, as it’s not like they invite just anybody to their meetings).

So I went back and lied to continue the survey. Here’s some of the gems of self-serving and push-poll questions:

How do you assess the importance of IP in the following areas: (Economic development, Business growth, Providing solutions to major global challenges (such as poverty, hunger, public health and climate change), Encouraging creativity, Protection of innovation, Technological advancement).
While it’s technically correct that copyright is important with respect to encouraging creativity, that’s only because ‘important’ technically just means it has a large effect, for good or bad, but the English used certainly doesn’t imply that.

Who do you believe is the global leader in the protection and promotion of IP?
Obvious ego-inflating blather.

How important are Intellectual Property (IP) issues to my organization in 2012?
It’s implicit that only corporations have valid opinions with respect to copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets. Individuals are nobodies.

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