CyberTech Rambler

August 15, 2006

Intellectual Property Laws are not interested in social contracts

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 2:57 pm

WebMink lament that nowadays patents filing are more tuned towards legal enforcement of the patent rather than conveying know-how, thus breaking the social-contract with the society in general. Unfortunately, Intellectual Property Laws are simply not interested social contracts.

Want proof? Ask WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation). Some may recall that I attended a course on WIPO Distance Learning Campus on Intellectual Property (and have the certificate to prove it). In the course, they mentioned “social contract”, such as author moral rights to be acknowledged, and the rights to expects one’s folklure to be respected by others so as not to misrepresent the folklure. However, guess what? They acknowledge that there is no legal procedures to enforce these types of social contract. Moreover, the course placed emphasis on  “Economic Value” of Intellectual Property, and if I recalled correctly, says that “WIPO is created to promote the economic interest of IP” in the first few chapters. [The latter statement is, however, not really supported by WIPO’s website statement on its vision, but the fact that it is in  their educational courses speaks volumes]

I believe it is time to write social contracts and obligations into the law. It is the only decent thing to do and too important to leave it to judicial discretion as it depends on the judge and the adminstration of the judicial system. Laws have a few purposes: To define and reflect a minimal acceptable social policy and to correct abnormalities in human behaviour. The only way now to return IP back to its social contract obligation is to write it into the law, industry self-regulation and other rubbish does not seem to work.


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