Intellectual Property on the Internet

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The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will consider in December a new treaty that would require most countries (including the U.S.) to curtail the public’s rights to use public domain materials stored in “databases.” The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is accepting public comments on this treaty; comments are due by November 22, 1996 and can be submitted to: diploconf@uspto.gov.

The public’s right to share information could be significantly reduced under this proposed new system of copyright for the Internet. In addition to placing new restrictions on the sharing of information, the proposal may lead to much greater surveillance over the flow of information.

  • For commentary and more information on the treaty go to Public Domain, a membership organization concerned with intellectual property issues.

  • For more information on related Internet property issues, check out Ralph Nader’s Consumer Project on Technology.

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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