• What China’s blocking of Wikimedia from WIPO says about copyright and free access

    Un article passionnant sur la géopolitique de la propriété intellectuelle (et donc de l’Internet qui en est aujourd’hui le principal véhicule).
    C’est en CC 4.0... dommage que je n’ai pas le temps d traduire. Mais si quelqu’un s’y colle, on peut en faire un petit « Cahier de C&F éditions », notre série gratuite.

    Two weeks ago, the Chinese delegation at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) rejected seven Wikimedia chapters from being accredited as Permanent Observers. The countries supporting China’s decision reportedly include Tajikistan, Pakistan, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Kyrgyzstan, Bolivia, Russia, Iran, and Algeria. With this decision, the Wikimedia chapters of France, Argentina, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Sweden, and Switzerland do not have a Permanent Observer’s seat at WIPO’s negotiating table.

    Established in 1967, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a self-funded agency of the United Nations. Comprising 193 Member States, it deliberates on global standards for intellectual property and copyright policy.

    However, this isn’t the first time China has blocked Wikimedia chapters, or its parent organisation the Wikimedia Foundation, from Permanent Observer status at WIPO. As recently as May 2022, China denied ad hoc observer status to six other Wikimedia chapters at WIPO’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR). In 2020 and 2021, China blocked the Wikimedia Foundation’s application for observer status as well.

    The reason cited by China over the years and this year: ‘the affiliated websites of the WMF [Wikimedia Foundation] contained a large amount of content and misinformation that ran counter to the One-China principle. The delegation hoped that all parties [present at WIPO] would continue to observe this principle, when discussing the issue.’ What this implies: the Wikimedia websites host ‘misinformation’ on Taiwan, the island territory hugging mainland China’s eastern coast. This information possibly challenges the Chinese government’s decades-long belief that there is only legitimate ‘One China’—and truant, secessionist Taiwan is an inalienable part of it.

    Why it matters: China’s actions fall in line with its growth as a technologically-advanced global power. Its ability to influence smaller, developing countries to support its domestic censorship policies online could critically impact the nature of discussions that take place at WIPO. This is important because WIPO lies at the forefront of determining global copyright standards—as well as the exemptions to them. It is these exemptions that allow us, as users of the Internet, to freely access knowledge and speech online, rights which fall under the fundamental right to speech in many jurisdictions. However, these ‘limitations’ to copyright enforcement are hard-earned—and are often championed by a variety of civil society organisations observing and influencing proceedings at WIPO. Regardless of the criticisms surrounding Wikimedia and its chapters, blocking them leaves out a powerful lobby for online access to knowledge at the international level.

    Perhaps this is why discussions on limitations and exceptions regularly happen at WIPO—these provisions allow members of the global community to use copyrighted content ‘without the authorization of the rightsholder and with or without payment of compensation.’ Civil society organisations observing WIPO proceedings have had a particularly influential role in making the Internet’s information more accessible to its users. ‘

    ‘With observer status, you can’t vote. But you can inform debates, speak, and meet delegates,’ says Balasubramaniam. ‘Civil society organisations also bring two critical things to the table,’ explains the policy expert. ‘The first is evidence, whether quantitative or anecdotal, on why certain exemptions to copyright laws may be necessary. Secondly, they bring legal arguments and contribute to the development of copyright law at this multistakeholder forum. They do have the power to leverage positive outcomes at WIPO—the point of view of a non-profit organisation usually takes effect when a Member State or regional bloc puts their weight behind it.’

    For example, a country’s technological and industrial advancement often appears to accompany a less flexible stance on copyright—and more companies sign up to these views to preserve their own interests. Sinha’s remarks bear special credence for those worried about the future of the ‘free’ world now that China is flexing its muscle at WIPO.

    ‘Until the 2010s, China was relatively pro access to knowledge,’ recalls the policy expert. ‘This bears many parallels to the first few centuries of American copyright history. America was relatively on the side of access to knowledge because it was developing its domestic industry,’ explains the policy expert. ‘The United States used to pirate texts. 100 years down the line, America established its industries and became a net exporter of copyrighted works versus a net importer of copyrighted works. It then shifted its position from a country that pushed for exceptions and limitations to the copyright regime, to one that wanted the regime to have the maximum protections and rights for creators and rights holders. We see this similarly unfolding in China. As long as it was a net importer of intellectual property, it was much more balanced in its approach to all forms of copyright. And then once its own patent portfolio became bigger than everybody else’s, particularly in the context of 5G technology, it took a u-turn, just like the USA did all those years ago.’

    In 2019, China became the top filer of international patents at WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) System, filing 58,990 applications. This dislodged the United States from its 44-year-reign as the top patent filer globally. According to WIPO, over the past ten years, China has filed ‘389,571 patents in the area of AI, accounting for 74.7 percent [sic] of the global total and ranking the first in the world.’ This rapid technological advancement may explain the kind of support it received from developing countries as it blocked the Foundation and chapters—even as that support comes at the cost of speech at WIPO and, potentially, larger access to information online.

    ‘It’s fairly simple to predict how a country will determine its stance at WIPO: it depends on whether they are net importers or exporters of IP. That answer is then easily overlaid on whether they are developing or developed countries,’ concludes the policy expert. ‘The negotiations that take place at these fora are highly asymmetric. Poorer countries may end up supporting a position of a powerful, copyright maximalist country, not because they’re communists or socialists or capitalists, but because they want access to that country’s markets and capital.’

    ‘Globally, I see a trend to treat intermediary liability as a panacea for all of the Internet’s problems—and I don’t think that’s the case,’ argues Keton. ‘That’s partly because regulators view these issues keeping in mind the big for-profit tech platform. We build regulation that applies to these huge platforms that have a very top-down approach to content moderation, and it’s possible that these laws don’t eventually consider community-led content moderation efforts. We need to preserve open knowledge projects, because it’s tremendously important that we have the ability as individual citizens to shape our experience on the Internet.’

    #Propriété_intellectuelle #OMPI #Wikipédia #Chine #Géopolitique_internet
    In that light, embedding necessary discussions on geopolitics within the context of access to knowledge appears to be critical—especially if the public and civil society are serious about preserving hard-earned fundamental rights to speech, expression, and information online. ‘There’s a yawning boredom of late for anything that sounds like principle,’ remarks Iyengar. ‘Even 20 years ago, if you said freedom of speech is being affected, people would be slightly alarmed. Today, this violation of rights is part of our [collective] every day. The shock factor of principles being violated is diminished across the world, and in India, as well. You would much rather hear or write about geopolitics than about principle-based stances.’

  • World Intellectual property Organization DG Addresses COVID-19 ; Statement on Patent Sharing Due this Week | infojustice

    Le directeur de l’OMPI se pose des questions sur ce qu’il faut faire avec les progrès médicaux pour contrer le COVID-19. Un relâchement des règles de propriété intellectuelle est à l’étude.

    C’est un pas important pour ré-équilibrer la « hiérarchie des normes », en plaçant le droit à la santé et les droits humains devant les brevets de médicaments.

    Il reste à espérer que ce qui va sortir des décisions sera à la hauteur.

    Dans tous les cas, n’oublions pas que les Etats peuvent bloquer un brevet pour des raisons d’urgence nationale... Si un médicament contre le COVID-19 devait être breveté, cela serait un sous-produit de la démission politique des États... inimaginable en temps de cirse, n’est-ce pas ?

    Director Gurry Responds II: Considering Patent Sharing Tools

    The day after his public address, Director Gurry took questions from several members of the press. There he expounded on the issue of IP and health technology at some length, and released that he would be publishing a statement on the topic this week.

    On the press briefing, a reporter asked whether a recent compulsory license by Israel for COVID-19 medicines indicated “any risk of serious conflict growing” and “for the integrity of the patent market.” Gurry explained:

    “This is a hot issue and a very sensitive issue. I would say that starting point should be – we are in a profound crisis that is causing widespread suffering. There is a unanimous approach to reduce the suffering occurring. It is an extraordinary situation. The international framework does envision flexibilities to deal with health emergencies.”

    Gurry stated a desire that countries efforts be “targeted,” “that they deal with real needs and shortages.” He confirmed that this is what he was seeing in country responses thus far. “So far that is what we are seeing – targeted actions to people that need them.”

    Director Gurry appeared dismissive of more fundamental critiques of the IP “system” and expressed concern that some actions could derogate form the rights of artists and musicians. “I hope it is not a general blah blah about the intellectual property system,” he remarked.

    “We have an economy dependent on innovation. We have a society that is dependent more or less on the vitality of cultural products. We have to ensure as a secondary consideration (primacy is health and safety) that the actions we take are not just to derogate, for example in the creative industries — the actors and others who are unemployed.”

    Director Gurry stated his desire to “ensure that measures are time bound, targeted, . . . Whether that translates into a completely different system, I doubt it.”

    Gurry answered favorably to a follow up question on whether he envisioned “that WIPO will advance some special mechanism to share drug patents?” He described the difficulties of reaching negotiated multilateral solutions and stated that “non-legislative practical measures are a great way forward. We are in discussion with various parties to see what could be done in this regard.”

    Director Gurry included in his response that he actively considering a policy statement on the issue. “I will address this [issue of IP and health technology] in a communication toward the end of this week. It is a work in progress. I will say more about it at that stage.”

    #Brevets #Médicaments #OMPI #Big_pharma #Normes _internationales #Propriété_intellectuelle

  • Spain’s Far-right Vox Received Almost $1M from ’Marxist-Islamist’ Iranian Exiles: Report | News | teleSUR English

    It is unlikely that Vox’s hyper-nationalist voters know that their party scored a significant presence in Spain’s parliament mostly thanks to Zionists, Islamists and foreigners.

    With the April 28 general elections in Spain over, the far-right party Vox gained about 10 percent of parliamentary seats, marking the far-right’s rising comeback into politics four decades after Francisco Franco’s dictatorship. While a less alarmist reading would say that the far-right was always there, hidden in the conservative People’s Party (PP), the fact that they are out in the open strengthens Europe’s wave of far-right xenophobic and anti-European advance.

    The party appealed to voters in one of Spain’s most contested elections since its return to democracy, mostly basing its arguments against leftists politics, social liberals, migrants, charged mainly with an Islamophobic narrative. Emphasizing the return of a long lost Spain and pushing to fight what they refer to as an “Islamist invasion,” which is the “enemy of Europe.” One could summarize it as an Iberian version of “Make Spain Great Again.”

    Yet while this definitely appealed to almost two million voters, many are unaware of where their party’s initial funding came from. Back in January 2019, an investigation made by the newspaper El Pais revealed, through leaked documents, that almost one million euros - approximately 80 percent of its 2014 campaign funding - donated to Vox between its founding in December 2013 and the European Parliament elections in May 2014 came via the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a self-declared “Marxist” organization and an Islamist group made up of Iranian exiles.

    However, this is where things get complicated. The NCRI is based in France and was founded in 1981 by Massoud Rajavi and Abolhassan Banisadr, nowadays its president-elect is Maryam Rajavi (Massoud’s wife). The Rajavis are also the leaders of the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK). A reason for many to believe that the NCRI is just a front for the MEK, which over the past few decades has managed to create a complicated web of anti-Iranian, pro-Israel and right-wing government support from all over the world.

    To understand MEK, it’s necessary to review the 1953 U.S. and British-backed coup which ousted democratically elected prime minister of Iran Mohammad Mosaddegh and instituted a monarchical dictatorship led by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

    The oppression carried out by the Pahlavi royal family led to the creation of many radical groups, one which was MEK, whose ideology combined Marxism and Islamism. Its original anti-west, especially anti-U.S. sentiment pushed for the killing of six U.S citizens in Iran in the 1970s. While in 1979, they enthusiastically cheered the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. After the Iranian Revolution, its young leaders, including Rajavi, pushed for endorsement from the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, but were denied.

    So Rajavi, allied with the winner of the country’s first presidential election, Abolhassan Banisadr, who was not an ally of Khomeini, either. Soon Banisadr and MEK became some of Khomeini’s main opposition figures and had fled to Iraq and later to France.

    In the neighboring country, MEK allied with Sadam Hussein to rage war against Iran. In a RAND report, allegations of the group’s complicity with Saddam are corroborated by press reports that quote Maryam Rajavi encouraging MEK members to “take the Kurds under your tanks, and save your bullets for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards."

    The organization was deemed a terrorist organization by the U.S. and European Union for the better part of the 1990s, but things changed after the U.S. invasion to Iraq in 2003. This is when the U.S. neoconservative strategist leading the Department of State and the intelligence agencies saw MEK as an asset rather than a liability. Put simply in words they applied the dictum of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

    The U.S.’s dismissal of past crimes reinvigorated MEK’s intense lobbying campaign to have itself removed from terrorist lists in the U.S. and the European Union. MEK, which by the beginning of the 21 century had morphed into a cult-like group according to many testimonies from dissidents, moved from Camp Ashraf to the U.S-created Camp Liberty outside of Baghdad. And that’s when things rapidly changed.

    According to the Guardian, between 2007 and 2012, a number of Iranian nuclear scientists were attacked. In 2012, NBC News, citing two unnamed U.S. officials, reported that the attacks were planned by Israel’s Mossad and executed by MEK operatives inside Iran. By 2009 and 2012, the EU and the U.S. respectively took it out of its terrorist organizations list.

    Soon after it gained support from U.S. politicians like Rudy Giuliani and current National Security Advisor John Bolton, who now call MEK a legitimate opposition to the current Iranian government. As the U.S. neocon forefathers did before, MEK shed its “Marxism.” After the U.S.’s official withdrawal from Iraq, they built MEK a safe have in Albania, near Tirana, where the trail of money can be followed once again.

    Hassan Heyrani, a former member of MEK’s political department who defected in 2018, and handled parts of the organization’s finances in Iraq, when asked by Foreign Policy where he thought the money for MEK came from, he answered: “Saudi Arabia. Without a doubt.” For another former MEK member, Saadalah Saafi, the organization’s money definitely comes from wealthy Arab states that oppose Iran’s government.

    “Mojahedin [MEK] are the tool, not the funders. They aren’t that big. They facilitate,” Massoud Khodabandeh, who once served in the MEK’s security department told Foreign Policy. “You look at it and say, ‘Oh, Mojahedin are funding [Vox].’ No, they are not. The ones that are funding that party are funding Mojahedin as well.”

    Meanwhile, Danny Yatom, the former head of the Mossad, told the Jersulamen Post that Israel can implement some of its anti-Iran plans through MEK if a war were to break out. Saudi Arabia’s state-run television channels have given friendly coverage to the MEK, and Prince Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief, even appeared in July 2016 at a MEK rally in Paris.

    With Israel and Saudi Arabia backing MEK, the question of why a far-right movement would take money from an Islamist organization clears up a bit. Israel’s support of European far-right parties has been public. In 2010, a sizeable delegation arrived in Tel Aviv, consisting of some 30 leaders of the European Alliance for Freedom, gathering leaders such as Geert Wilders of the Netherlands, Philip Dewinter from Belgium and Jorg Haider’s successor, Heinz-Christian Strache, from Austria.

    Yet for the U.S., Israel, and Saudi Arabia, MEK represents an anti-Iranian voice that they so desperately need, and that on the surface didn’t come from them directly. It is unlikely that Vox’s hyper-nationalist voters know that their party scored a significant presence in Spain’s parliament mostly thanks to Zionists, Islamists and foreigners.

    #Espagne #extrême_droite #Israël #Iran #Arabie_Saoudite #OMPI #Albanie

  • #Copyright_Madness (n]134) : une semaine de propriété intellectuelle en délire - Pop culture - Numerama

    En 2013, l’#OMPI a adopté le traité de Marrakech, qui prévoit de généraliser au niveau mondial des exceptions au droit d’auteur en faveur des personnes souffrant d’un #handicap visuel, afin qu’elles puissent obtenir des œuvres adaptées. L’#Union_européenne est en train d’examiner la ratification de ce traité et, si elle l’accepte, il pourra entrer en vigueur. Mais les lobbyistes de la #propriété_intellectuelle agissent pour faire barrage, prétextant que ces exceptions constitueraient pour les handicapés un « privilège injustifié » (sic). Et ils ont réussi à convaincre l’Allemagne et le Royaume-Uni de bloquer le processus. Encore une belle preuve du maximalisme dans lequel peuvent sombrer par idéologie les promoteurs de la propriété intellectuelle !

    [...] Médaille d’or. Chaque mois l’Electronic Frontier Foundation (#EFF) décerne le prix du brevet le plus stupide. En ce mois de la chandeleur, le prix a été attribué à la société Xerox pour son #brevet sur un réseau social de partage de documents physiques. On assiste une fois de plus à un cas de dépôt de brevet sur des choses existantes en employant des termes confus pour faire croire qu’il s’agit d’une véritable invention. En d’autres termes, Xerox a déposé un brevet sur… les #bibliothèques ! Les établissements de prêts de documents physiques correspondent tout à fait à la description absconse du brevet de Xeorx !

    • ces exceptions constitueraient pour les handicapés un « privilège injustifié »

      Au même titre que la carte de handicap permet la gratuité à plein de trucs, comme d’accèder à un musée national. Oui, on peut penser ce genre de choses, d’ailleurs on m’en a déjà la remarque (en plus de remettre en cause le fait que sans doute je profitai de ladite carte pour emmener mon fils dans un musée, la citée de l’architecture pour ne pas la nommer, où on ne voyait pas bien ce qu’il allait capter.

      Je suis resté hyper calme. J’ai rapidement expliqué que l’institution qui émattait cette carte par ailleurs ne remeboursait pas la totalité des soins de mon fils, lequel venait justement avec moi ce jour-là parce que son pédopsy est dans le quartier et qu’en ce moment il se pose pas mal de questions sur le sujet du paradis et de l’enfer et que j’ai pensé que d’aller regarder avec lui quelques portails notamment celui d’Autun et d’autres encore représentant le jugement dernier lui permetrrait peut-être de se représenter les choses. Tête de la préposée. Je pense qu’elle n’embêtera plus personne.

  • L’ Union européenne met en échec les discussions autour du droit d’auteur

    Des délégations des #bibliothèques et archives du monde entier participaient à la 27e réunion du SCCR du 28 Avril au 2 Mai 2014, et militaient pour un traité international qui aiderait les bibliothèques et les #archives à conserver le patrimoine culturel, et à faciliter l’accès à l’information pour tous.
    Lors de cette rencontre, l’ #Union_européenne a tenté de faire supprimer des conclusions de la réunion certaines références essentielles sur les exceptions au #droit_d'auteur. Un geste vu par les autres États membres et les acteurs des bibliothèques et des archives présents comme une tentative de retarder, voire de faire échouer, tout progrès sur les exceptions au droit d’auteur à l’ #OMPI .

    • The most famous episode of the terrible intellectual property war during the 21st century.
      A long time in the making, (first draft in 2007) a very complex issue, I did my best to make it clear.
      Ce dessin n’est pas une représentation d’un épisode de la guerre de Troie, seulement une référence au mythe de l’invulnérabilité d’Achille. Le personnage blessé au tendon est une allégorie des monopoles financiers qui se battent pour allonger la durée du droit d’auteur au détriment du domaine public (en position couché). Le mouvement du libre est symbolisé par la flèche dans la jambe du guerrier. Ce dessin est libre de droits.
      Christopher Dombres

    • En complément :

      Le plan secret de la Commission européenne pour une réforme du droit d’auteur

      La Commission européenne est souvent critiquée pour son manque de démocratie. Elle a manifestement encore des progrès à faire.

      En début d’année, elle organisait une consultation réussie sur l’évolution du droit d’auteur. En dépit de la complexité du formulaire [PDF] – près de 40 pages en anglais, non traduit –, plus de 10 000 réponses sont soumises, généralement à l’initiative d’associations et de collectifs. Les lobbys traditionnels s’alarment de cette force montante issue de la société civile.

      Un document confidentiel [lire ci-contre, PDF], divulgué par l’organisation Statewatch, suggère pourtant que la Commission connaît déjà les réponses avant d’avoir dépouillé le contenu de la consultation.


      Le second scénario ou « soutien pour les initiatives du marché » vise à redéfinir les règles existantes à partir des pratiques effectives des acteurs économiques. (p. 52-58). C’est, d’après la Commission, le scénario le plus facile à mettre en œuvre (et de loin le plus problématique pour la société civile).


  • Un traité met fin à la « famine de livres » des aveugles

    On estime que seulement 5 % à 7 % des livres sont disponibles dans des formats lisibles par les aveugles. Dans les pays en développement, où vivent la grande majorité de ceux-ci, ce pourcentage atteint à peine 1 %. Nous avons donné un nom à cette insuffisance, la « famine de livres ». Cette famine a deux causes, liées entre elles. Tout d’abord, les éditeurs n’ont tout simplement pas pris la peine de rendre leurs livres accessibles aux aveugles. (...) Source : Les blogs du (...)

  • Dancing and tears greet book treaty for blind, by Marcus Low | Groundup

    On 22 June a treaty for the blind was heading for disaster as negotiators stalled and refused to budge on hardline positions. Three days later a negotiator stepped out of a boardroom in the Atlas Medina hotel in Marrakesh and announced to a crowd of tense and exhausted observers, “We have a text!” The tears and dancing that followed is hardly what you’d associate with the making of international law.

    #aveugles #propriété_intellectuelle #traité #ompi

  • Miracle In Marrakesh : “Historic” Treaty For Visually Impaired Agreed | Intellectual Property Watch

    Jim Fruchterman, who heads Benetech, which runs Bookshare, a digital platform providing special format books for visually impaired people, said, “We are extremely excited about the treaty. We have the technology and we have the content, now we have a legal regime to make it possible for every person with print disabilities on the planet to get access to the books they need for education, employment, and social inclusion.”

    #propriété_intellectuelle #aveugles #ompi #copyright