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<title>FSF Europe - Observing WIPO - Statement at the IIM on a Development Agenda, 20 June 2005</title>
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[ <a href="statement-20050620.en.pdf">PDF Version (38k)</a> ]
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<a href="/activities/policy.html">WIPO</a>
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<h1>Statement by Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) </h1>
<h4>SECOND INTER-SESSIONAL, INTER-GOVERNMENTAL
MEETING ON A DEVELOPMENT AGENDA FOR WIPO (Geneva, 20-22 June 2005)</h4>
<!--<p id="introduction"> Summary: </p>-->
<p>Mr. Chairman,</p>
<p>on behalf of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), let me express
my congratulations on your chairing this most important session. The
FSFE is a globally active centre of expertise focussed on Europe, acting
in a network with sister organisations in India, Latin America and the
United States of America.</p>
<p>Our area of expertise are the issues raised by a digitised society and
economy, questions which are addressed effectively by Free Software; as
defined by the freedom of unlimited use for any purpose, the freedom to
study, the freedom to modify and the freedom to distribute.</p>
<p>We commend the Friends of Development on their clear and constructive
proposal on how to improve the effectiveness of WIPO in terms of
becoming a true ``World Intellectual Wealth Organisation.'' We also
commend all other countries on their proposals, which, as we have noted,
all involve Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).</p>
<p>In accordance with the Declaration of Principles and the Plan of Action
adopted by all UN Member States during the December 2003 World Summit on
the Information Society, we emphasise the need for such activities to
not de-facto or de-jure mandate the specific software model employed, be
it proprietary or Free Software.</p>
<p>Mr. Chairman,</p>
<p>like proprietary software, Free Software is using copyright: It does so
by mitigating some of the restrictions to best fit the social and
economic needs of all players; actors in the Free Software field range
from large companies such as SUN and IBM, to cities like Munich and
Vienna, and to non-governmental organisations, such as ourselves.</p>
<p>Although Free Software is a model employed with great success by a large
number of developed and developing states, most of current WIPO
activities are focussing on proprietary software only. For the upcoming
discussions we therefore call upon WIPO to specifically also include
Free Software in all its programmes and activities, educating its member
states on the social and economic benefits of the Free Software model.</p>
<p>Thank you, Mr. Chairman.</p>
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