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39 comments

I hope Bill is there (2, Funny)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 9 years ago | (#11912951)

He's definitely out to represent the publics interest.

Re:I hope Bill is there (2, Funny)

Beatbyte (163694) | more than 9 years ago | (#11913060)

What does Bill Clinton have to do with this? Is he serenading everyone with his saxophone? ;-)

Re:I hope Bill is there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11913547)

What does Bill Clinton have to do with this?

No silly, Bill Nye!

Kudos to EFF (5, Informative)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 9 years ago | (#11913008)

... for not only reporting this to the public, but for offering to represent the viewpoints of those being shut out:
EFF is accredited as a WIPO permanent observer and will be attending the meetings. The group will be reporting on the proceedings and will attempt to represent the viewpoints of some of the other public interest groups that are being excluded from the process.

Re:Kudos to EFF (1)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 9 years ago | (#11916195)

Certainly Kudos! Agree, however they might just get told to be 'silent observers' if they happen to tick anyone off.

Well then... (4, Insightful)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 9 years ago | (#11913020)

It's becoming more and more obvious that they don't represent us, the consumers, at all, but represent purely the rights holders... which is all the more annoying as the rights they have are only supposed to have been granted for a short period and the content is supposed to revert to public ownership. It's about time the balance was tipped back towards a far fairer term in which they have to recoup their "investment"...

The perpetual extension of items now is absolutely ridiculous and should be dragged back to strictly 15 years from date of creation. 15 years is plenty of time to make money from a book, piece of music or a film... and then we get to create derivative works after that 15 year period...

Re:Well then... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11913186)

No! 15 years is not enough! Think what would have happened if George Lucas' Star Wars prequels had to compete against derivative works!

Um . . . (4, Funny)

wakejagr (781977) | more than 9 years ago | (#11913303)

. . . we would have been able to watch good Star Wars movies?

Re:Um . . . (1)

cranos (592602) | more than 9 years ago | (#11914078)

Damn and me without mod points.

Ah well heres a couple of zen mod points +2 Zing

Re:Well then... (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 9 years ago | (#11922161)

No! 15 years is not enough! Think what would have happened if George Lucas' Star Wars prequels had to compete against derivative works!

They do have to. Dark Horse has released a shitload of SW comics, as has Marvel. And then there's the Thrawn trilogy.

If you're talking about movies, watch "Duality" sometimes - it used to be the sample movie for DivX, dunno where you could get it nowadays. It's actually pretty darn good short action flick - somehow manages to capture the spirit of Star Wars perfectly, despite having almost no speech, just lightsaber fighting; or maybe that's the reason ;).

Re:Well then... (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11913510)

Allow me to pimp my own post [slashdot.org] .

I'd also like to follow-up on a point about the duration of copyright. I understand now why having copyright last for at least the duration of the author's life is important: people who produce art (or content, or however you want to look at it) may have dependants to support. One thing we who seek the freedom of culture often overlook is that many artists often expect to make a living and/or professional careers out of what they do.

Without the support of the artist-type of person, we will never achieve much of what we want. So, we are either going to have to change their attitudes about making a living off of art, or we are going to have to make some compromises.

Re:Well then... (1)

tacocat (527354) | more than 9 years ago | (#11913741)

It's not about COPYRIGHT, it's about INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY and PATENT LAW PROTECTION.

There is a huge difference between these and you had better learn it before you start pimping your artistic wares.

Re:Well then... (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11915875)

Um... oops?

I don't know. I saw "WIPO," and since I've obviously been bitching about them recently, it's the first thing that came to mind when I read this story.

Re:Well then... (1)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 9 years ago | (#11916189)

Copyright is one of the things that falls under the bloodsucking lawyer invented term "intellectual property". Patent, trademark, and trade secrets are others. Duh!

Re:Well then... (1)

tacocat (527354) | more than 9 years ago | (#11933671)

No it does not. They are distinctly different. IP is Patent Law, not CopyRight.

Re:Well then... (4, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | more than 9 years ago | (#11914281)

I still don't see why copyright has to last for the duration of an artist's life. So what if it exprires after 20 years? He's going to create more than one work isn't he? An inventor gets 20 years on a patent, why should copyright be so much different? If anything, it should probably be shorter.

Re:Well then... (4, Insightful)

Eccles (932) | more than 9 years ago | (#11914601)

So artists are incapable of investing? My boss doesn't keep paying me for work I did last year. Most of an artist's profit for a work is going to come in a relatively short period of time, and if there's a revival, they can use the old stuff to promote the new, go on tour, etc.

Moreover, it's generally not the arists who are campaigning for immensely long copyrights, it's companies. Indeed, often the artists battle the companies who try to tie up their rights, like the company that sued John Fogarty for sounding too much like himself, Prince's battles with his record company, and so on. A lot of musicians also want to allow legal bootlegging, but are pressured by their record companies into restricting or prohibiting it.

Re:Well then... (1)

grahammm (9083) | more than 9 years ago | (#11918432)

Most of an artist's profit for a work is going to come in a relatively short period of time

On the other hand, it is common for an artist's work to only become popular, and increase in value, after the artist's death.

Re:Well then... (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 9 years ago | (#11922193)

On the other hand, it is common for an artist's work to only become popular, and increase in value, after the artist's death.

In which case long copyrights don't help him any.

Re:Well then... (3, Insightful)

rhizome (115711) | more than 9 years ago | (#11914608)

many artists often expect to make a living and/or professional careers out of what they do.

Uh huh, and thusly the privilege becomes a right?

Without the support of the artist-type of person, we will never achieve much of what we want.

Not sure what you mean here, but there's always another way to achieve what you want. Skinning a cat, and all that.

Re:Well then... (3, Informative)

Trepalium (109107) | more than 9 years ago | (#11916523)

people who produce art (or content, or however you want to look at it) may have dependants to support.
Yes, and their dependants may have dependants to support. No, the original rational for long copyrights was to prevent companies from merely waiting for the copyright to expire before publishing their 'enhanced' version they could copyright themselves. Supporting your dependants is a red herring, and it detracts from the real reasoning behind things. After all, people working as mechanics, accountants, or burger flippers still need to provide for their dependants, and you don't hear people suggesting that McDonald's should provide outside the original terms of employment.

Now, the big companies that want the term extension can't admit they would be so evil as to rob someone of the fruits of their labour, so this bogus story about protecting the artists' dependants is born. Perhaps we merely need to rethink how the term is applied, rather than arguing about the periods. Perhaps a term that is triggered by first publication would work better, although this fails for non-duplicated artwork like paintings and such.

Re:Well then... (1)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11923167)

I understand now why having copyright last for at least the duration of the author's life is important: people who produce art (or content, or however you want to look at it) may have dependants to support.

Non-authors have to keep producing to support their dependents. Why should authors be any different?

Not IP! (1)

alexo (9335) | more than 9 years ago | (#11914031)


> It's becoming more and more obvious that they don't represent us, the
> consumers, at all, but represent purely the rights holders... which is all
> the more annoying as the rights they have are only supposed to have been
> granted for a short period and the content is supposed to revert to public
> ownership. It's about time the balance was tipped back towards a far fairer
> term in which they have to recoup their "investment"...


It's about time the whole "IP" idea is taken out and shot.

The creators/originators are only granted some limited and temporary exclusive rights, they do not "own" the ideas. Ideas cannot be anyone's "property".

Re:Well then... (2, Informative)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 9 years ago | (#11915230)

Please don't refer to "us" as "consumers". We're people, plain and simple. Some of "us" even [flickr.com] create [flickr.com] stuff [flickr.com] without [flickr.com] the luxury of being part of a huge corporation. Please go buy Make [flickr.com] magazine, or visit a library or something.

Not surprised (2, Insightful)

boingyzain (739759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11913027)

Of course the groups aren't allowed. They might accidentally add some common sense to the IP discussion.

Wow, (0, Troll)

Goo.cc (687626) | more than 9 years ago | (#11913052)

What a fucking surprize.

Not to sound like a troll but... (1)

jasonmicron (807603) | more than 9 years ago | (#11913088)

"This is an embarrassment for WIPO," explained EFF European Affairs Coordinator Cory Doctorow. "Settling the debate by locking one side out of the building isn't the way the UN is supposed to work. We love the Development Agenda -- it's supposed to be a new direction for WIPO. A one-sided discussion isn't a new direction, though. It's just more of the same." How are public interest groups part of the debate to begin with? Aren't these private organizations working together to run their private operations as they see fit?

We don't really need public interest groups to represent what our views are when they don't even talk to us about our views or input.

Re:Not to sound like a troll but... (2, Informative)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#11913285)

Aren't these private organizations working together to run their private operations as they see fit?

This is a government organization, not a private organization.

Re:Not to sound like a troll but... (1)

jasonmicron (807603) | more than 9 years ago | (#11913363)

Oh ok, I guess I misunderstood the press release. Thanks!

WIPO (5, Funny)

wishus (174405) | more than 9 years ago | (#11913348)

We Ignore Public Opinion

Fact - WIPO are biased (5, Insightful)

Garry Anderson (194949) | more than 9 years ago | (#11913471)

UN WIPO are biased - even the USPTO admit this.

Quote: Lois Boland, director of international relations for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, said that open-source software runs counter to the mission of WIPO, which is to promote intellectual-property rights.

"To hold a meeting which has as its purpose to disclaim or waive such rights seems to us to be contrary to the goals of WIPO," she said.

http://www.detnews.com/2003/technology/0308/22/tec hnology-250851.htm [detnews.com]

This is not only in relation to open-source software but also with domain names in their UDRP.

The informed /.er will know this is the rules they made to help corporations overreach with their trademarks.

There is no doubt in my mind - the people at WIPO are corrupt.

Please visit http://wipo.org.uk/ [wipo.org.uk] - nothing to do with the United Nations WIPO.org !

Re:Fact - WIPO are biased (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 9 years ago | (#11913632)

Mod the parent informative please, the page he refers to is wordy and angry, but it does make a lot of sense.

Re:Fact - WIPO are biased (4, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | more than 9 years ago | (#11914311)

Absolutely ridiculous. What should WIPO care what people do with their rights? If I want to give my work away with only minor conditions attached, why shouldn't I be able to? They obviously have an agenda other than simply protecting IP owners' rights.

Re:Fact - WIPO are biased (3, Informative)

Harodotus (680139) | more than 9 years ago | (#11914691)

Mr. Borland seems to entirely miss the point that Open-Source software is not free and is not counter to intellectual property rights.

The OSS licence agreement requires intellectual property right laws to be in full effect to work.

Its just the the compensation of OSS licences is not in money to the licence holders, but in restricted behavior in the public interest (freedom to re-distribute, requiring derivative works to be made available to all).

Re:Fact - WIPO are biased (1)

miu (626917) | more than 9 years ago | (#11915042)

The OSS licence agreement requires intellectual property right laws to be in full effect to work.

(just imagine the next sentence in a Luke Skywalker whine.)

Well yeah, but they're being used by the wrong people!

Re:Fact - WIPO are biased (1)

latroM (652152) | more than 9 years ago | (#11989383)

The OSS licence agreement requires intellectual property right laws to be in full effect to work.

Why not say that FS/OSS licenses need copyright to function. No need to introduce that stupid IP concept.

Re:Fact - WIPO are biased (1)

Harodotus (680139) | more than 9 years ago | (#11992727)

Thank you, you are correct, Copyright law is probably the more improtant concept here. However Both need to be in full effect.

As described in The Open Software License version 2.1 [opensource.org]

1) Grant of Copyright License. Licensor hereby grants You a world-wide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual, sublicenseable license to do the following:

to reproduce the Original Work in copies; to prepare derivative works ("Derivative Works") based upon the Original Work;
to distribute copies of the Original Work and Derivative Works to the public, with the proviso that copies of Original Work or Derivative Works that You distribute shall be licensed under the Open Software License; to perform the Original Work publicly; and to display the Original Work publicly.

2) Grant of Patent License. Licensor hereby grants You a world-wide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual, sublicenseable license, under patent claims owned or controlled by the Licensor that are embodied in the Original Work as furnished by the Licensor, to make, use, sell and offer for sale the Original Work and Derivative Works.

Eases consciences of IP violators (4, Insightful)

peter hoffman (2017) | more than 9 years ago | (#11913783)

The result I see coming out of this sort of action is that consumers will have less compunction about making illegal copies and committing other violations of intellectual property laws.

When laws are perceived as unfair they are ignored. The only way, at that point, to get compliance is draconian enforcement. That confirms the perception of the unfairness of the law. Eventually, the government behind the laws is also seen to be unfair and even corrupt. Revolution eventually follows.

I'm not saying people will revolt because they can't record "Friends" but that WIPO's decisions are more straws on the camel's back. Eventually, if people can still remember what it means to be "free" (and PC textbooks are not helping that), they will reach a breaking point and every "straw" will have contributed to that break.

So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11915872)

And the KKK doesn't allow Jews to their meetings. Is anyone really surprised?
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