US Ambassador To The UN Says WIPO Too Biased Against IP Holders

from the er,-what? dept

Back in 2010, Techdirt reported on a fairly remarkable comment from the US ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Betty E. King, who said at a press conference:

if we get to a system where the protections of patents are abrogated in the name of development then we certainly will kill [WIPO].

If that’s not clear, she’s saying that intellectual property is more important than economic development (especially in emerging countries).

Howard Knopf points out a post from Intellectual Property Watch where she was asked what her thoughts on the subject were now:

King said she is not concerned about the Development Agenda [at WIPO], but that there is still a need for greater balance for those who have IP rights.

In other words, she’s not as worried, but she apparently feels that WIPO is somehow biased against patent and copyright holders. I suppose keeping out those evil Pirates out of WIPO was a step in the right direction, then….

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Comments on “US Ambassador To The UN Says WIPO Too Biased Against IP Holders”

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jameshogg says:

Well technically if you think property trumps everything, you are inclined to say that it trumps even the economy. So you can expect this kind of behaviour from those who insist that the entire world, along with soverign democracies with their own economic and property systems, be within the boundaries of their fences.

I won’t delve into patents too much: the short answer is we need a full-blown socialist perspective applied to patents, as scientific research is something everybody ought to be participants in.

But copyright is always going to lead to irony and hypocrisy as long as it forces creators to back away if what they wish to bring are derivative works. As well as insisting on being the exception to the rule that it is impossible to forbid the expression of opinions without falling into corruption, deliberate or not.

Lad Guy says:

Re: Re:

If you think property trumps everything, logically you must oppose intellectual monopoly. Conflicts with fundamental property rights are shown by N. Stephan Kinsella et al. The scary thing is how merely calling such monopolies “intellectual ‘property'” still seems to trick so many idiots into supporting them, even though they stand directly opposed to property rights.

Seegras (profile) says:

Re: Re:

This is NOT about property. Patents are NOT property. Patents are not even a license do do something, but a license to KEEP SOMEBODY ELSE FROM DOING IT.

Translated to property, it gets totally absurd. It’s not like owning a house, but having the right to throw out anyone wanting to live in it. And since there are hundreds of other patents, held by other people, each and every one of those have the same right to throw out anyone wanting to live in that house.

Obviously, this has nothing to do with property, instead it’s nothing more than an acquirable RIGHT OF SPITE.

cpt kangarooski says:

Re: Re: Re:

Translated to property, it gets totally absurd. It’s not like owning a house, but having the right to throw out anyone wanting to live in it. And since there are hundreds of other patents, held by other people, each and every one of those have the same right to throw out anyone wanting to live in that house.

Well, in real property law, there is something called a negative easement, which is a right to prohibit the property owner from doing something, but not by itself a right of the easement holder to do it. It’s very similar to copyrights and patents in that respect.

MrWilson says:

Re: Actually, she's saying we (US) are NOT going to legalize stealing.

“Pirates just don’t get a seat at the table with producers.”

The irony being that even the actual content producers don’t get a seat at the table. It’s just politicians, lawyers, lobbyists, and business men.

When you argue for artists to actually have a seat at the table rather than the representatives of the corporations who do actually steal from artists, you might have some “Techdirt fanboys” agree with you for once.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Actually, she's saying we (US) are NOT going to legalize stealing.

Actually no, she is saying the US is hellbent in authorizing the pillage of public property/space and private property for the benefit of a small group of monopolists.

Removing the natural rights of everybody except for that one person is theft.

Anonymous Coward says:


Sometimes a ballence is needed. My take is that if it is weighted too much against legitimate patent owners (which do actually exist)…that means it is way too lenient on Patent Trolls. The pirates that should be fought are the ones claiming to have a patent and using that patent as a means to shakedown people who use the supposed patent.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Not surprising

You are after all talking about the kind of person for whom the internet, probably one of the greatest technological innovations/inventions alongside harnessing electricity, is considered an acceptable casualty if it means protecting their precious IP/businesses.

If they are willing to destroy something that important just to protect their profits, the economy of developing countries is of course going to be considered insignificant in comparison.

Wally (profile) says:

This caught my eye immediately.

As it is clear as a bell that a Lawyer wrote the article…I must point out this one thing. Given that she is quite reliable in expressing the generalized version of testimony…the following caught my eye.

Mr. Steele also testified that he believed the use of Mr. Cooper’s signature on this document was authorized, because Steele introduced Cooper to the owner/controlling member of AF Holdings.

Now I do admittedly have Asperger Syndrome on the Autism Spectrum, so as such my mind, like most judges in a court room, take plain language very very seriously. The above statement implies to me that Steele simply thought that Cooper’s signature was Authorized simply for just meeting a person. Since this is an accurate assessment to Steele’s testimony on the matter, this all seems rather ominous to me about Steele. No lawyer in their sound mind could and should ever consider that simply introducing someone to another person as a means of authorizing the use of that person’s signature. That’s neither legally binding, nor will it ever be. Hats off to Mrs. King 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

We should all be thieves of IP, the prize?
A better world, the failure to do so means years of suffering and pain at the hands of delusional people who believe others shouldn’t make what they have done, is to stop the spreading of culture and create something that is not attainable a world where 7 billion people are all original all the time.

The bundle of monopolies commonly referred to as IP laws has become an abomination that threats the lifes of every person in this earth and that is not an exaggeration.

We all will feel the effects of such monopolies.

Anonymous Coward says:

can someone name a meeting that isn’t supposed to be about making sure that the USA companies, industries or whatever aren’t the main reason for the meeting, at that the main objective isn’t about making sure those USA companies etc, aren’t the ones that come out more favourable than any others? the thing i done understand is why all the other countries involved, just roll over and play dead, letting the USA get whatever they want, even when it means the other nations become so much worse off than they are at the start? how the hell is that ‘looking after the best interests of your country and it’s people?’

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