Thursday, March 8, 2007

The Bellagio Conference

The Bellagio Declaration, from the 1993 Rockefeller Conference "Cultural Agency/Cultural Authority: Politics and Poetics of Intellectual Property in the Post-Colonial Era," begins by introducing its signatories, explaining their diverse nature and common faith "to the central themes and spirit of this Declaration." The central theme, as revealed by the next section, is intellectual property law. Once again they reiterate the geographical, cultural, and professional differences of the conference members, proving the scope of this issue. Next is a set of five declarations that state the problem, how and why it came to be, who the victim is, and finally their regrettable disapproval of the current common perspective. The following few paragraphs offer suggested areas in need of reconsideration, and possible solutions to not only give some justice to intellectual property rights, but also implement a systematic way to maintain said justice. "intellectual property rights cannot be framed by the few to be applied to the many...we must re-imagine the international regime of intellectual property" Following is a "discussion" explaining the focus and flaws of the "contemporary intellectual property law(s)." The conference describes the importance of the currently neglected public domain, audiences, and even some authors and the need for reform in these areas.
I think this declaration says a lot. They stress the scope of the issue of intellectual property law, as well as logically induce the victims systematic helplessness. I can relate this to minority struggles to end segregation, in each scenario the big guy has to stick up for the little guy before equality can be reached, also in each case such behavior goes against the grain of immediate self interests, thus can be hard to initiate. Being so, this conference and its declaration is a big step in the (morally?) "right" direction. One thing a bit discouraging is the year this conference was held and this declaration was made was 1993. It has been almost a decade and a half, in the technology terms a near lifetime, and we've seen little change for the better as far as the little guy's concerned.

"The Bellagio Declaration." Mar. 1993. The Society for Critical Exchange. 8 Mar. 2007 .-

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