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The Register: So WIPO, Why Did You Scrap the Open Source Meeting?

Nov 07, 2003, 01:00 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bob McDowall)

"WIPO is an international organisation dedicated to promoting the use and protection of works of the human spirit. These works--intellectual property--are expanding the bounds of science and technology and enriching the world of the arts. Through its work, WIPO plays an important role in enhancing the quality and enjoyment of life and helps create real wealth for nations.

"Given its background and mandate it is surprising that it scrapped its first meeting on 'open and collaborative' projects such as 'open source software.' After all open source software does, indeed rely on intellectual property rights. It cannot exist without them. It is, therefore, bemusing that the US Director of International Relations for the US Patent and Trademark Office apparently opposed such a meeting, claiming that such a meeting would run against the mission of WIPO to promote intellectual property rights. At least one of the major US software companies, probably beginning with the letter 'M,' is reported to have lobbied against the holding of such a meeting..."

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