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WIPO Committee Presentations Show Nuanced View of Copyright 84

AtomicJake writes "As the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is known for a very rigid course combating counterfeiting and piracy in general, it comes as a surprise that during a meeting of the WIPO Advisory Committee on Enforcement, several presenters have shown nuanced views on the economics of enforcing intellectual property rights. Combating clothing piracy might not be beneficial for the welfare of a developing country. Most surprising is the presentation of WIPO Chief Economist (PDF) Carsten Fink, which says that illegal copies of software may actually be beneficial even for consumers of the original goods. Also the piracy of audio-visual goods creates not only losses but also benefits for e.g. hardware manufacturers. Maybe this is because Mr. Fink wrote the presentation before joining WIPO?"
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WIPO Committee Presentations Show Nuanced View of Copyright

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  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Saturday November 07, 2009 @08:25PM (#30017998) Journal

    These guys don't just want it both ways. They want it every which way and twice on Sunday. Take your meds boys, and put on this comfy straight jacket before the multiple personality disorder results in a paradox so vast that the only way the Universe will be able to resolve it is implode. LHC eat your heart out. WIPOs got your black holes beat!

  • by ChipMonk ( 711367 ) on Saturday November 07, 2009 @08:57PM (#30018194) Journal
    Different meanings of "nuanced":

    --we're elitist snobs, and of course we know better than you what's good for you.

    --whatever shade of meaning applies is the one we want at any given moment.

    --dictatorships and Communist nations will get a pass.

    --a person's freedom to create, innovate, and distribute must be hindered at all turns.

    I defy this bogus organization to prove me wrong.
  • ACTA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 07, 2009 @08:59PM (#30018208)

    This explains why ACTA is not going though the WIPO and instead it's own little path.

  • by langelgjm ( 860756 ) on Saturday November 07, 2009 @09:32PM (#30018396) Journal

    This AC is absolutely right. WIPO has actually been taking a much more moderate approach to a lot of IP policy lately, with its development agenda and the increased influence of developing countries there. There has been so much relative moderation that some people feel WIPO is gridlocked

    So, US, EU, Japan, et al. know that they will make no progress in pushing ACTA through WIPO (which would be the appropriate forum). As a result, they've pursued ACTA by itself, in a completely non-transparent manner.

  • Re:I disagree (Score:3, Insightful)

    by icebike ( 68054 ) on Saturday November 07, 2009 @09:58PM (#30018540)

    But this practice assumes no intelligence on the part of the buyer, which is increasingly not true.

    China is not mud huts and peasant farmers anymore, and the sophistication of the local consumers should not be underestimated. They can tell a counterfeit iPhone from a real one, and even a real one with wifi disabled from a real gray market one from Hong Kong with working Wifi. (Which is why the Official China iPhone roll out is flopping big time).

    As for China brand names on products, it would appear they prefer to sell brand names that already are known like Lenovo and Hummer.

    Leaving local marketing to local entities makes sense, especially of you are still somewhat delusional and believe you can maintain a closed society forever.

    I'm not sure China is such a good example here. And I think your example is confusing "counterfeit" with "inferior". Counterfeits need not always be inferior.

  • Re:I disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DinDaddy ( 1168147 ) on Saturday November 07, 2009 @10:02PM (#30018558)

    Japan was in the same boat 50 years ago. Now look. And with the public access to information about products that the internet has brought, I would bet China could change perception about their brands in a decade easily.

  • Re:I disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Saturday November 07, 2009 @11:08PM (#30018794)

    Due to rampant piracy, no company can make a name for themselves (I'm talking more physical products vs. media)

    Because no one has heard of Leveno? The main reason why no company can make a name for themselves in a US market is A) Their name sounds distinctly foreign (I'd rather drink an English-sounding drink than a drink from Kweichow Moutai Company) B) They are tailored to a specific market. China doesn't have the mass media that the US and Europe does, almost all the media in China is state-run or sponsored. Because of this the advertising needs to be changed, where in the US, individuality and uniqueness is appreciated, in China it is not. So a lot of ads that are successful in the US because of that (such as the Think Different Mac ads) would fail in China. C) in China -a lot- of companies either have government control or influence. Cherry Automobile ( is the largest independent Chinese auto maker and it is run by the Chinese government. Such things don't export well and D) A significant amount of Americans avoid things that are Chinese. There are a lot of Americans who think that China is going to nuke the US or other crazy theories, but nonetheless some people do believe them and so that keeps a lot of Chinese-sounding goods from American shores.

  • by cpt kangarooski ( 3773 ) on Saturday November 07, 2009 @11:55PM (#30019034) Homepage

    I am an American, and I got rid of my car and instead I walk, take public transit, ride a bike, and use cars that are available to me as a member of a car-sharing organization. It works very well, in fact, and it saves me quite a lot of money.

    I think that it would be very appropriate to re-engineer our urban and suburban areas so that cars are generally unnecessary and undesirable, and to encourage various car sharing arrangements rather than to have so many individually owned cars, which, as you point out, are usually idle wastes of space.

  • These guys don't just want it both ways. They want it every which way and twice on Sunday. Take your meds boys, and put on this comfy straight jacket before the multiple personality disorder

    I didn't actually RTFA, but it's a committee receiving multiple presentations. It's somewhat natural for there to be multiple, potentially exclusive, opinions, because there are multiple agents involved with multiple backgrounds, offering multiple opinions and proposed solutions. In fact, if they didn't display multiple personalities, that's when you worry about their sanity and self-awareness.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 08, 2009 @02:33AM (#30019638)

    Your analogy is valid if, when you say "by the same token" you actually mean "by a totally different token bearing no resemblance to the one in discussion and making no sense anyway".

  • Re:I disagree (Score:3, Insightful)

    by the_womble ( 580291 ) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @04:07AM (#30019886) Homepage Journal

    Thank you for your excellent argument in favour of trademarks. That is why we have trademarks.

    Now, can you please explain how this is relevant to copyright?

  • by Anci3nt of Days ( 1615945 ) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @05:32AM (#30020116)

    While the stated goal of copyright is to promote creativity, in practice copyright primarily creates a commercial system that has little practical relevance when applied to modern technology.

    If the laws were actually intended to promote creativity, copyright systems wouldn't provide rights for Life + 70 years (AU).

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford