August 23, 2003

Tech Update

Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that WIPO canceled a previously scheduled meeting on open source due to lobbying from the BSA and the USPTO. Particularly frustrating is 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.

It is unfortunate that we have reached a situation where philanthropy is not considered a use of rights and rather a disclaimer or waiver of rights. Donating to the public good with a requirement that the donation stay in the public good is protection of intellectual property rights. It's just not the kind of protection that makes the BSA or the USPTO any money.

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