The World Intellectual Property (WIPO) is based in Geneva, Switzerland. WIPO is one of the 16 specialised agencies of the United Nations system of organisations, writes Bob McDowall of Bloor Research. It administers 23 international treaties dealing with different aspects of intellectual property protection. The Organisation counts 179 nations as members.
WIPO is an international organisation dedicated to promoting the use and protection of works of the human spirit. These works - intellectual property - are expanding the bounds of science and technology and enriching the world of the arts. Through its work, WIPO plays an important role in enhancing the quality and enjoyment of life and helps create real wealth for nations.
Given its background and mandate it is surprising that it scrapped its first meeting on "open and collaborative" projects such as "open source software." After all open source software does, indeed rely on intellectual property rights. It cannot exist without them. It is, therefore, bemusing that the US Director of International Relations for the US Patent and Trademark Office apparently opposed such a meeting, claiming that such a meeting would run against the mission of WIPO to promote intellectual property rights. At least one of the major US software companies, probably beginning with the letter "M", is reported to have lobbied against the holding of such a meeting.
It is curious that WIPO should have acceded to such "requests". It is even more surprising that a USA Government Agency should so manifestly promote such views, at least in such a clumsy and unsophisticated way. It is even more surprising that WIPO acceded to such demands, if, indeed, these were the reasons for "scrapping" such a meeting.
Leaving aside the demand by commercial organisations for so called "open source" software products, governments, government organisations and agencies are increasingly seeking open source software products as cheaper alternatives to commercial software products, ultimately to the benefit of nations' taxpayers. So WIPO why did you scrap this meeting?