Intellectual Property on the Internet

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The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will consider in December a new treaty that would require most countries (including the U.S.) to curtail the public’s rights to use public domain materials stored in “databases.” The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is accepting public comments on this treaty; comments are due by November 22, 1996 and can be submitted to: diploconf@uspto.gov.

The public’s right to share information could be significantly reduced under this proposed new system of copyright for the Internet. In addition to placing new restrictions on the sharing of information, the proposal may lead to much greater surveillance over the flow of information.

  • For commentary and more information on the treaty go to Public Domain, a membership organization concerned with intellectual property issues.

  • For more information on related Internet property issues, check out Ralph Nader’s Consumer Project on Technology.

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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