it.gen.nz

Writings on technology and society from Wellington, New Zealand

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Yesterday was World IP Day

I bet you didn’t know! Apparently it’s true – you can see the official postcard here. I’d embed the image directly in this blog but I don’t want to infringe anyone’s IP.

Have a look at ArsTechnica for a hilarious take on what this means. My favourite part:

[According to the head of WIPO]: “What, [people] might ask, do the workings of copyrights, patents, industrial designs or trademarks have to do with the really big issues, like how to stop global warming; or with the things that add spice to life, like watching their favorite athletes perform in this year’s Olympics? The answer is that, without intellectual property rights, many new technologies developed to tackle global problems would never see the light of day and the great sporting events, which entertain and unite us, would not be broadcast into homes across the globe.”

So there you have it: without IP we’d have global warming and no Olympics (though somehow the ancient Greeks managed to have the Olympics but no global warming, and they did it without a modern IP legislative apparatus).

Quite. We can all debate the importance or otherwise of intellectual property concepts, but let’s not get carried away.

posted by colin at 9:16 am  

1 Comment

  1. So without IP we will not solve all the problems of global warming. But in the first instance without IP we would not have had many of the inventions that have created global warming.

    It kind of makes me a bit confused.

    Comment by Peter — 28 April 2008 @ 2:44 pm

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