The UNESCO swosh?

The US has decided to file two cases at the WTO over intellectual property. The cases are against China where the enforcement of of IP protection is notoriously lax., in particular regarding consumer brands, music and dvds, for which there is a massive cottage boot-legging industry. And they really have no reason to behave differently: most of this intellectual property belongs to countries like the US, and IP protection means little more than protecting the right of (mostly) US IP owners to siphon off excess profits form China’s booming middle class consumer market. Indeed, the fact that these objects are so frequently copied implies that, for most people in the world today, they are not perceived as particularly ‘american’ or even ‘western’, but as a common cultural property. Nike shoes is the natural aspiration of everybody , everywhere. This is of course the source of the value of the Nike brand, that people all over the world lets t matter to their everyday life, and gives it value in making it a signifier of hipness, ‘in status’, belonging to particular groups, or what have you. But if the value of Nike is something co-produced by everybody (or virtually everybody) then maybe the right to benefit form this diffuse production process should also be redefined. Why not let Nike, Coca cola, Disney be the property of UNESCO? That way brand revenues (currently billions of $ annually could be used for the general benefit of mankind, who produced these values in the first place.

by way fo the acticsblog

1 Comment The UNESCO swosh?

  1. AvatarNicholas Bentley

    I don’t know about redirecting brand revenues but I have had some thoughts in the past on the possibility introducing the principles of intellectual rights to regions such as China without massive legal actions:

    “This situation means that the Rights Office system could be introduced gradually into markets that don’t traditionally support strong copyright, such as China, with the advantage that identified works would gradually become more prevalent even if unremunerated trading continued to take place. A number of advantages follow from this business model:……”

    Also Lucy Montgomery had a good Indicare article on Online music markets in China.

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