UN's copyright agency won't let the Pirate Party in

International non-governmental organizations with an interest in copyright and related issues have always been admitted to the United Nations's World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as observers (I was once such an accredited observer, working on behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation). Historically, the NGO "observers" at WIPO were industry groups, such as the motion picture lobbyists from the MPA, the record industry lobbyists from IFPI, and so on. But starting in the middle of the last decade, public interest groups like Creative Commons and EFF started to attend these meetings, adding balance and an emphasis on human rights to the treaty-making debates.

Pirate Party International satisfies every one of the criteria used to evaluate NGOs for WIPO observer status. Nevertheless, WIPO's general assembly has postponed approval of PPI's application for status. According to a report by Knowledge Ecology International founder James Love, the assembly rejected the Pirates after pressure from Switzerland, the USA, France and other EU nations:

US, Switzerland [and] France raised objections in the informal consultations, and [...] some other European countries wanted to raise objections, but found it awkward given the recent success of domestic Pirate Parties in national elections. The USA said it asked for a hold on the decision until WIPO could decide if it wanted to accept political parties as WIPO observers. One delegate said European countries were concerned that the Pirate Parties would take “political action” back home when they disagreed with positions taken by the official delegates at the WIPO meetings”

PPI blocked from becoming observer members of WIPO

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  1. “‘One delegate said European countries were concerned that the Pirate Parties would take ‘political action’ back home when they disagreed with positions taken by the official delegates at the WIPO meetings'”

    So if you reject their admission as observers, they’re just going to say, “Oh, okay. No…that’s cool. We understand.” instead of taking “‘political action’ back home when they disagreed with” the decision not to even admit them as observers? That makes sense.

  2. And nobody thinks that there is perhaps an element of reasonability in rejecting a political party under the heading of Non-Government Organisation? Would you be happy to see representatives of the Democratic Party International admitted to the NGO benches?

  3. They aren’t a political party – it is the Secretariat of the party. There’s no doubt in my mind, from attending the GA, that the objections were entirely related to the positions of the Pirate Party, and nothing else. It is a very troubling development.

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