From: plenary-admin(a)wsis-cs.org [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On
Behalf Of Georg C. F. Greve
Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2003 5:11 AM
Subject: [WSIS CS-Plenary] plenary statement of the Patents, Copyright
Trademarks (PCT) work group (September 23rd)
Patents, Copyright, Trademarks (PCT) Working Group
Civil Society Statement for WSIS Plenary September 23rd, 2003
Georg Greve speaking on behalf of the civil society patents, copyright
and trademarks working group.
Each generation of mankind is depending upon its predecessors to leave
them with a livable, sustainable and stable environment. The
environment we are discussing today is that of the information age and
future generations will be looking at what we have achieved or not
To a large extent, this future rests on three columns.
Science, to advance human knowledge, Law, to provide means of
non-violent conflict resolution and Software, to enter and be part of
the digital domain. All of these three are in imminent danger.
When asked why he could see so far, Sir Isaac Newton replied that he
was standing on the shoulders of giants. Imagine a world where those
giants refuse to let him stand on their shoulders. Yet this is the
direction that the access to information and knowledge section is
taking. Access to information is how we climb upon the shoulders of
the giants that were before us.
Law is a tool with which we shape our society. Like any tool it can
turn against its creators. By monopolizing control over our common
heritage as mankind, we give permission to deplete the intellectual
and cultural grounds that future generations will need to build
upon. A strong and healthy public domain of knowledge will be just as
important to them as it was to us.
Software is the medium of and structuring entity for the digital
domain. The information age will rest upon it. Having been denounced
as a technical development model, Free Software is much more than
that. It is a paradigm that secures equal chances and freedom for
governments, economy and civil society alike. It provides a truly
sustainable model for all areas of society, bringing back competition
and furthering innovation for a prosperous and inclusive information
and knowledge society for all.
Dear delegates, thank you for your attention.
Georg C. F. Greve
Free Software Foundation Europe
GNU Business Network
Brave GNU World