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ICSTI: Protests to WIPO and USPTO re meeting cancellation

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <epc-l@iucr.org>
  • Subject: ICSTI: Protests to WIPO and USPTO re meeting cancellation
  • From: Pete Strickland <ps@iucr.org>
  • Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2003 11:40:13 +0100 (BST)

>From Peter Suber's Freedom of Science blog:

More on the WIPO meeting....Five major US library groups have written 
open letters to WIPO and the USPTO protesting the cancellation of the  
meeting and the role of the USPTO in the decision.

Excerpt from the letter to WIPO:  "We write to express our surprise 
and dismay at recent press reports that the World Intellectual 
Property Organization may not take up an important recent proposal to  
hold a conference on open and collaborative models for development of 
public goods. The proposal was made in a letter to
you dated July 7,  2003, signed by several dozen distinguished 
scientists, academics, technologists, open-source advocates, consumer 
advocates, librarians,  industry representatives and economists 
worldwide. We urge WIPO to hold such a conference in 2004 as 
proposed.  The application of open and collaborative models raises 
important intellectual property issues for the international 
community that WIPO should be addressing. These models  are
experiments in creative use of intellectual property law to achieve 
sociallyresponsible and productive ends."

Excerpt from the letter to the USPTO:  "We are deeply distressed by 
reports that the PTO, instead [of supporting the idea], expressly  
reprimanded WIPO, calling for the organization to improve its 
stewardship of interactions with nonprofit groups and other 
non-member  organizations. The United States has long acted
as a leading supporter of public participation at the international 
level. We highly value this  commitment and applaud the efforts the 
United States has made to enable civil society to monitor, inform and 
participate in the activities of  numerous international bodies. We 
trust that any statements the PTO may have made were misconstrued, 
and urge the PTO to clarify and reaffirm  its commitment to active
public participation at WIPO and to WIPO?s efforts to seek and benefit 
from the input of civil society."  (The letter  says that the meeting 
would have discussed open access to "academic research in the 
developing world" but in fact the open access discussion  would have 
been limited to the developing world.) The letters are signed by the 
directors of the American Association of Law Libraries, the American 
Library Association, Association of Research  Libraries,
Medical Library Association, and Special Libraries Association. 


Best wishes

Peter Strickland
Managing Editor
IUCr Journals

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