The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the UN agency responsible for treaties involving copyright, patent, and trademark laws. WIPO can be a force for progressive change, helping the world take into account public interest and development needs. But all too often, governments are using international treaties negotiated through WIPO as well as other bilateral trade agreements to ratchet up IP rights at the behest of copyright holders. EFF defends your rights at WIPO, acting as a watchdog at its proceedings and advising member countries. Here's a look at some current issues we're focusing on:
Importing and Exporting Bad Law
Most recently, WIPO has begun considering a treaty that would give broadcasters, cablecasters, and potentially webcasters, broad new 50-year rights to control transmissions over the Internet, irrespective of the copyright status of the transmitted material. It also requires countries to provide legal protection for broadcaster technological protection measures that will require Broadcast Flag-like technology mandates, undermining innovation, competition, and legitimate uses.
Towards Better IP Policy
Though WIPO has historically worked to create treaties that expand IP rights no matter the consequences to its developing country members, that has started to change. For instance, Brazil and Argentina, leading a group of 15 countries, have asked WIPO to adopt a "Development Agenda," under which new treaties and all of WIPO's work must consider the impact on international development. For the first time, WIPO member states are now discussing the importance of a rich public domain and the dangers of overbroad DRM laws. EFF is part of an international NGO coalition working at WIPO to ensure that intellectual property laws protect human rights like access to knowledge and access to medicine, even as some developed countries try to obstruct the Development Agenda at every turn.
EFF Related Content: WIPO
- One of the most significant events that took place at this month's meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organization ( WIPO ), that EFF attended , wasn't part of the meeting's formal agenda. It came at a side-meeting organized by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI),...
- The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled was one of the most fiercely contested treaty negotiations at the World Intellectual Property Organization ( WIPO ). Representatives of publishers and other copyright holder groups spent...
- A groundbreaking international agreement to address the “book famine” for blind and print-disabled people is now set to go into force after passing another key milestone today. The agreement requires countries to allow the reproduction and distribution of accessible ebooks by limiting the scope of copyright restrictions. The Marrakesh agreement...