I just had a look at a recent WIPO press release, WIPO Policy Advisory Commission Endorses Use Of Intellectual Property As a Tool for Development (via Furdlog). The text quotes Hisamitsu Arai stating that the Japanese government wants to turn Japan into
an intellectual property-based nation and outlining Japan’s strategy for
achieving a dynamic economy and vigorous society through the strategic creation, protection and exploitation of intellectual property. This quote seems to be taken from the Strategic Program for the Creation, Protection and Exploitation of Intellectual Property on the Japanese government’s website. Not completely unexpected, the 230 Kb html document has a very protective ring to it.
Strengthening the Protection of Intellectual Property,
Reinforcing the Measures against Pirated Copies,
Expanding the Scope of Legal protection against circumvention of Means of Technical Protection, etc. are some of the oneliners used in the document, of course with the noble goal of
secur[ing] incentives for the creation of intellectual property.
Again: when will they see that people not only need incentives (in the form of stronger protection) for content production, but also materials and resources? The only recognition thereof can be found in the
Ensuring the smooth use of research materials part of the text:
[…] the GOJ will make efforts to further promulgate among universities and public research institutes the conditions regarding the transfer of research materials and the rules for simple transfer procedures in order to ensure the smooth use of tangible materials in research activities.
But well, to be honest, this sounds more like improving the communication and the exchange of resources between libraries then ensuring the availability of a commons.
There’s still a long way to go.