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  4. <meta name="author-name-1" content="Georg C.F. Greve"/>
  5. <meta name="author-link-1" content="/about/greve/greve.html"/>
  6. <meta name="publication-date" content="2007-09-28"/>
  7. <title>FSFE - Observing WIPO - Statement at the 2007 Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO, 28 September 2007</title>
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  9. <body>
  10. <p align="center">
  11. [ <a href="statement-20070928.pdf">PDF Version (44k)</a> ]
  12. </p>
  13. <p id="category">
  14. <a href="/projects/un/">United Nations</a> / <a href="/projects/wipo/">WIPO</a>
  15. </p>
  16. <h1>Intervention by Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE)</h1>
  17. <h4>Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO Forty-Third Series of Meetings, Geneva, 24 September – 3 October 2007</h4>
  18. <!--<p id="introduction"> Summary: </p>-->
  19. <p>The FSFE has comments on various items on the agenda of this year's
  20. Assemblies of the Member States. In the interest of time and on
  21. invitation of the chair, we are submitting these comments in writing
  22. for your kind consideration.</p>
  23. <h3>Considerations for WIPO's procurement decisions</h3>
  24. <p>On the question of WIPO's technical needs and systems, as discussed in
  25. multiple agenda items, FSFE submits that WIPO should follow the
  26. established principles of vendor independence, interoperability and
  27. Open Standards for all its procurement. References in this area are
  28. provided by the European Commission's IDABC European Interoperability
  29. Framework (EIF) or the work done on the subject in other Member States.</p>
  30. <p>Experience indicates that cost related to lack of interoperability easily
  31. accounts for up to 40% of IT budgets, and is a major cost driver for
  32. all users of information technology, including public bodies. This
  33. lack of interoperability is a common result of vendor specific
  34. procurement decisions and lack of Open Standards.</p>
  35. <p>Interoperability and Open Standards are also central for the issue of
  36. sustainable storage of and perpetual access to data and
  37. information. FSFE submits that it is in direct conflict to the mandate
  38. of WIPO as a multi-stakeholder intergovernmental organisation to
  39. depend on any particular company's products for access to its data and
  40. communication with its Member States.</p>
  41. <p>FSFE therefore suggests that the Assemblies of the Member States
  42. establishes clear guidelines for WIPO's management to ensure vendor
  43. independence, interoperability and Open Standards in all its
  44. procurement decisions.</p>
  45. <h3>On a Development Agenda for WIPO</h3>
  46. <p>FSFE congratulates the Member States of WIPO for their agreement to
  47. work together on a concrete set of issues to establish a Development
  48. Agenda of WIPO. We have followed this process for the past years and
  49. continue to offer our input and assistance in allowing these
  50. discussions and their implementation to come to a successful outcome.</p>
  51. <p>Pertaining to the comments on interoperability, Open Standards, and
  52. vendor-independence, we believe the same issues should also be
  53. included in the Development Agenda discussions, specifically in
  54. Cluster A, including, but not limited to, items 7, 10 and 11.</p>
  55. <p>Regarding Cluster B, in particular items 22 and 23, FSFE would like to
  56. emphasise the role of Free Software to establish and maintain an open,
  57. competitive and innovative technology industry. Free Software is often
  58. the only remaining competitor in markets that saw abuse of neighboring
  59. monopolies, and the best choice to re-establish competition.</p>
  60. <p>For reference, we would like to point out the investigation conducted
  61. since 1998 by the European Commission in this field, and the recent
  62. decision of the European Court of First Instance. The decision
  63. concerned two markets, one of which was the workgroup server
  64. market. In this market, due to massive leveraging of desktop monopoly
  65. into the market based on obstruction of interoperability, Free
  66. Software is left as the only remaining competitor, currently providing
  67. the basis for competing products by no less than four major vendors.</p>
  68. <p>Pertaining to Cluster C, FSFE would like to emphasise the importance
  69. to discuss the role of Free Software in technology transfer and
  70. capacity building, as agreed upon during the World Summit on the
  71. Information Society in Geneva, referenced in item 24. Citing section
  72. C3, 10, point e of the WSIS Plan of Action:</p>
  73. <blockquote>
  74. <em>"Encourage research and promote awareness among all stakeholders of
  75. the possibilities offered by different software models, and the
  76. means of their creation, including proprietary, open-source and
  77. free software, in order to increase competition, freedom of choice
  78. and affordability, and to enable all stakeholders to evaluate which
  79. solution best meets their requirements."</em>
  80. </blockquote>
  81. <p>Overall, FSFE considers it imperative to dedicate sufficient resources
  82. to the upcoming Development Agenda discussions within WIPO to bring
  83. this work to concrete results in a timely manner.</p>
  84. <h3>On the future activities of the SCCR and SCP</h3>
  85. <p>Regarding agenda item 17, the future activities of the SCCR, FSFE
  86. would like to reaffirm its support for the September 2006 Joint
  87. Statement of Certain Civil Society, Industry and Rightholders
  88. Representatives Regarding the Draft Basic Proposal for SCCR 15.</p>
  89. <p>Considering the large amount of pressing issues in the area of
  90. Copyright and related rights, including a potential treaty on Access
  91. to Knowledge, the issue of Limitations and Exceptions, and the issue
  92. of alternative Copyright-based system to incentivise creativity, such
  93. as Creative Commons and Free Software, FSFE believes the SCCR should
  94. priorise these issues over more meeting devoted to issues that are
  95. unlikely to see consensus in the next years.</p>
  96. <p>FSFE furthermore in reference to agenda item 19 believes that the SCP
  97. should analyse the effect of patenting in the area of IT standards,
  98. incorporating a perspective on potential antitrust issues, which in
  99. our experience are relevant to the full picture.</p>
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