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Celebrating IP Day -- Or Not

Call me a day late and a dollar short. Yesterday, I've learned, was World Intellectual Property Day. At the blog Patent Baristas, Stephen Albainy-Jenei serves up this explanation: The day is organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization to encourage people to think about IP in everyday life. It is celebrated every year on April 26 as the date in which the convention establishing WIPO took effect in 1970. This year's theme: encouraging creativity.

If you, like me, missed the festivities, it is not too late to sample them, if only vicariously through the posts of celebrants. Start with WIPO itself, where its IP Day page has a poster, a postcard and a round-up of IP Day activities around the world. We learn here, for example, that Azerbaijan commemorated the day with, among other things, a video recording the day's activities at the State Agency for Copyright. In the United Kingdom, the law firm Pinsent Masons marked the day by giving away free IP legal advice. Here in the United States, President Bush prepared a special greeting for the day, in which he recognizes "the vital importance of protecting intellectual property." In Anaheim, Calif., Disney Bioscience waited until yesterday to announce the first-ever cloning of a cartoon character, as reported by IP Kat. And at the home of more flexible IP rights, Creative Commons, the organization offered a PDF flyer and a wiki page addressing how it encourages creativity.

Not everyone, unfortunately, was in the spirit. A Paris organization, Paris ACTUP, held a counter-celebration. In Canada, University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist decried the day as "little more than a lobbyist day with creators, users, and the facts once again getting lost in the process." And Techdirt offered suggestions for alternative ways to celebrate World IP Day, focusing on how IP laws are used to encourage monopoly and stifle free speech.

Party poopers, no doubt. I'm just sorry I missed all the fun.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on April 27, 2007 at 05:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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