by Mike Masnick
Tue, Nov 10th 2009 5:56pm
While the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is often seen as being inherently in favor of stronger intellectual property rights, every so often, the organization shows itself open to more reasonable approaches. A few years back, for example, it questioned the evidence on patents, and had trouble finding any real evidence that stronger patents resulted in greater innovation. Now, via Slashdot, we hear about a discussion at WIPO concerning "enforcement" issues where a number of papers were presented that pushed back on excessive pro-IP positions. These included a paper by WIPO Chief Economist, Carsten Fink, which calls out many of the previous studies on "losses" due to counterfeiting and piracy, and notes how misguided many of them are. While I think Fink uses some outdated and since disproved economic theory in his paper, overall it's nice to see at least some acknowledgment of moving more towards evidence based policy setting, rather than the maximalist's default "more is better" position.
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