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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
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  4. <author id="greve"/>
  5. <date>
  6. <original content="2005-04-15"/>
  7. </date>
  8. <head>
  9. <title>FSF Europe - Observing WIPO - Statement at PCIPD, 15 April 2005</title>
  10. </head>
  11. <body>
  12. <p align="right">
  13. [ <a href="statement-20050415.en.pdf">PDF Version (44k)</a> ]
  14. </p>
  15. <p id="category">
  16. <a href="/activities/un/">United Nations</a> / <a href="/activities/wipo/">WIPO</a>
  17. </p>
  18. <h1>Statement by Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) </h1>
  19. <h4>PERMANENT COMMITTEE ON COOPERATION FOR DEVELOPMENT RELATED TO INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (PCIPD) (Geneva, 14-15 April 2005)</h4>
  20. <!--<p id="introduction"> Summary: </p>-->
  21. <p>Mr. Chairman,</p>
  22. <p>on behalf of the Free Software Foundation Europe I congratulate you and
  23. your co-chair on the trust placed in you for this fourth PCIPD
  24. session. Our organisation is a globally active centre of expertise for
  25. Free Software with a European focus, and our intervention will deal with
  26. the digital development activities referred to in document number
  27. PCIPD/4/2 prepared by the bureau.</p>
  28. <p>Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are described in the
  29. document both as tools for administration systems and as the object of
  30. technology transfer. Furthermore ICTs impact upon other areas of
  31. interest to WIPO, in particular copyright, and Free Software can
  32. contribute positively to all of these.</p>
  33. <p>Free Software is defined by the freedom of unlimited use for any
  34. purpose, the freedom to study, the freedom to modify and the freedom
  35. to distribute. In this context we would like to refer to the
  36. Declaration of Principles and the Plan of Action adopted by all UN
  37. Member States during the December 2003 World Summit on the Information
  38. Society.</p>
  39. <p>As -- amongst others -- paragraph 23 o) of the Plan of Action states,
  40. a variety of software models such as proprietary and Free Software
  41. should be promoted. This impacts on paragraph 12 and 34 of PCIPD/4/2,
  42. but also paragraphs 48 and 49 need to be seen in the light of this
  43. decision by the Member States.</p>
  44. <p>It is crucial that WIPO programmes do not de-jure or de-facto mandate
  45. any of these activities in favour of proprietary software. All such
  46. activities should be equally and fully available with Free Software.</p>
  47. <p>Mr. Chairman,</p>
  48. <p>regarding technology transfer and the bridging of the digital divide,
  49. the potential of Free Software should be taken into account by the
  50. measures listed in section II of the document.</p>
  51. <p>As alluded to by the ``knowledge economy'' reference in paragraph 14,
  52. Information and Communication Technologies can be a powerful tool to
  53. enable industrial growth. The sustainability of such growth is to a very
  54. high degree a function of the control over such ICT infrastructures.</p>
  55. <p>The model of proprietary software is based on absolute and permanent
  56. control by the proprietor. On the other hand,the model of Free
  57. Software, based on the creative use of copyright, offers freedom for
  58. political and commercial activity, giving each Member State
  59. flexibility and control over their ICT infrastructure.</p>
  60. <p>The region of Extremadura in Spain is a good example how a primarily
  61. agricultural economy can rapidly evolve into a digitally networked
  62. high-skill region fostering high economic development through commercial
  63. Free Software clusters.</p>
  64. <p>Adding training and competency in Free Software to WIPO's development
  65. related programmes will greatly increase their impact and open up an
  66. entire new area of knowledge based economic development.</p>
  67. <p>Thank you, Mr. Chairman.</p>
  68. </body>
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