Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Cory Doctorow on WIPO and A2K

Alex Steffen, Cory Doctorow: The WorldChanging Interview, World Changing, September 3, 2008.  Excerpts (from Doctorow):

...The choice is not simply one of piracy or monopoly. There is a whole rich middle ground of public domain and open information regimes which could give developing world countries the tools they need to serve humanitarian purposes, while protecting the legitimate interests of authors, performers and inventors. WIPO could have created a global knowledge goods regime which protected both the commercial and the humanitarian fairly....

The Brazilians and the Chileans and the Argentines have been showing up and kicking a lot of ass, particularly on a treaty proposal that the EFF and CPTech and a lot of other groups helped draft: the Access to Knowledge, or A2K treaty, which starts from the premise that all the copyright, patent and trademark treaty instruments to date have got it all wrong -- they set out a mandatory minimum set of rights that everyone who's a rightsholder gets, and an optional set of rights that the public gets. As a result, you have global harmonization of the restrictions to the public access to knowledge, and you have no harmonization around the world on the rights that the public gets....

PS:  Article 5-2 of the draft A2K treaty mandates OA for publicly-funded research.  (Disclosure:  I participated in the drafting of 5-2.)