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  4. <title>FSFE - WSIS - Civil Society Statement for WSIS Plenary September 23rd, 2003</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <center>
  8. <h2>Patents, Copyright, Trademarks (PCT) Working Group</h2>
  9. <h1>Civil Society Statement for WSIS Plenary September 23rd, 2003</h1>
  10. </center>
  11. <p><a href="/about/greve/">Georg Greve</a> speaking on behalf of the
  12. civil society patents, copyright and trademarks working group.</p>
  13. <p>Each generation of mankind is depending upon its predecessors to
  14. leave them with a livable, sustainable and stable environment. The
  15. environment we are discussing today is that of the information age and
  16. future generations will be looking at what we have achieved or not
  17. achieved here.</p>
  18. <p>To a large extent, this future rests on three columns. </p>
  19. <p>Science, to advance human knowledge, Law, to provide means of
  20. non-violent conflict resolution and Software, to enter and be part of
  21. the digital domain. All of these three are in imminent danger.</p>
  22. <p>When asked why he could see so far, Sir Isaac Newton replied that he
  23. was standing on the shoulders of giants. Imagine a world where those
  24. giants refuse to let him stand on their shoulders. Yet this is the
  25. direction that the access to information and knowledge section is
  26. taking. Access to information is how we climb upon the shoulders of
  27. the giants that were before us.</p>
  28. <p>Law is a tool with which we shape our society. Like any tool it can
  29. turn against its creators. By monopolising control over our common
  30. heritage as mankind, we give permission to deplete the intellectual
  31. and cultural grounds that future generations will need to build
  32. upon. A strong and healthy public domain of knowledge will be just as
  33. important to them as it was to us.</p>
  34. <p>Software is the medium of and structuring entity for the digital
  35. domain. The information age will rest upon it. Having been denounced
  36. as a technical development model, Free Software is much more than
  37. that. It is a paradigm that secures equal chances and freedom for
  38. governments, economy and civil society alike. It provides a truly
  39. sustainable model for all areas of society, bringing back competition
  40. and furthering innovation for a prosperous and inclusive information
  41. and knowledge society for all.</p>
  42. <p>Dear delegates, thank you for your attention.</p>
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