[FSFE PR][EN] FSFE becomes WIPO observer

press at fsfeurope.org press at fsfeurope.org
Thu Nov 25 11:40:59 CET 2004

[ for immediate release ]

FSFE becomes WIPO observer

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of 16
specialised agencies of the United Nations which primarily deals with
global policies granting monopolies on knowledge and other
"virtualities." These policies filter down into local legislation,
shaping the way humankind approaches the knowledge based society.

Currently there are many threats to the freedom of our society and our
economy in a knowledge based society -- from the European Copyright
Directive (EUCD) to the expansion of patentability -- originating at
least ideologically at UN level and beyond discussion when they are
finally passed as national laws. This leaves very little room to
attempt to limit the harm and damaging effects.

For that reason, FSFE has requested to be granted observer status at
the WIPO in 2003, which was confirmed by the Assembly of the Member
States of WIPO from 27 September to 5 October, 2004.

In the scope of the FSFE WIPO project team [1], the FSFE will work
with other players to change WIPO from an organisation that is solely
oriented towards monopolisation of knowledge to one that is aimed at
increasing the intellectual wealth of all of humankind through a more
flexible, sustainable and effective tool set. [2]

"Whenever Civil Society tried to approach the issues of Patents,
Copyrights and Trademarks during the United Nations World Summit on
the Information Society (WSIS), we were told that WIPO was the place
to have these discussions and make these changes", Georg Greve,
president of FSFE explains.

He continues: "If WIPO is the place to do this, then WIPO is where we
need to participate to preserve freedom in the digital age."

More information can be found on the FSFE web site at

  [1] http://fsfeurope.org/projects/wipo/
  [2] http://fsfeurope.org/documents/wiwo.en.html

   About the Free Software Foundation Europe:

   The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a charitable
   non-governmental organisation dedicated to all aspects of Free
   Software in Europe. Access to software determines who may participate
   in a digital society. Therefore the Freedoms to use, copy, modify and
   redistribute software - as described in the Free Software definition-
   allow equal participation in the information age. Creating awareness
   for these issues, securing Free Software politically and legally, and
   giving people Freedom by supporting development of Free Software are
   central issues of the FSFE.  The FSFE was founded in 2001 as the
   European sister organisation of the Free Software Foundation in the
   United States.

   Further information: http://www.fsfeurope.org

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