Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Dodgy bits of the Lisbon treaty: more intellectual property

All posts on Lisbon

It has been pointed out to me that Europe already has a say on IP issues and that this is not new. This is true, I followed and contributed a little effort to the software patent battle (that page contains the marvellous example of what European democracy can involve - 'When Brinkhorst spoke at the Council's "public session", the microphones were switched off. Thus we do not know what he said.'). I also recently asked some questions recently about Charlie McCreevy's new scheme to extend the duration of copyright for session musicians. Apparently this scheme will give them more money while not costing anybody anything - a modern day economic miracle of the loaves and fishes. One of my questions, yet to receive a reply, is about the "empirical studies" which back up this economic miracle.

So yes, Europe already has a hand in IP but that does not mean I have to be happy for that to be formalised and set in stone, particularly in the current form where there is no rationale, principles, social bargain or even a mention of the limited duration of an IP monopoly and certainly nothing about fair use.

Interestingly this seems to apply to the entire commercial section. I'll write about that too if I get a chance.

Funnily enough, I don't know whether your IP rights beat my rights to freedom of expression under the new human rights stuff. I presume this has been worked out before in a court somewhere but it doesn't seem to be included in the documents.

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