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Your Rights, Being Bartered Away in Global Forum

James Love: A UN/WIPO Plan to Regulate Distribution of Information on the Internet. But what the broadcasters and the webcasters really want has nothing to do with protecting copyrighted works. They want to “own” the content of what they transmit, even when they are not the creative party, and even if they can’t acquire such rights from the copyright owner (if any).

In the words of the treaty critics, the treaty proponents are guilty of piracy of the knowledge commons. They are seeking to claim ownership rights in works they did not create, and which today they do not own. They want something different from copyright, and different from the legal regime that exists in any country. They want to own what they simply transmit. And this will be quite harmful to the Internet.

These issues tend to be fought as abstractions. But the results are anything but abstract.

This is a power grab of unbelievable proportions. It is, as noted, theft — stealing from the public commons. What can we do to stop such arrogance?

David Weinberger has an update. Scarier than ever.

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