Pirate Parties International (PPI) – the international pirate party NGO – was denied an observing member status at the World intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
Last year the PPI applied for a membership so it would be able to participate in WIPO meetings and discuss future copyright policies.
However, several member states, including the United States, have objected to this request.
“By denying PPI’s observer membership application, WIPO has made it obvious that it is not interested in an open debate that includes all players of civil society, but would rather embrace the copyright industry lobbyists,” PPI’s Co-Chairman Gregory Engels responds to the decision.
WIPO currently has around 250 observing members, many of which have a strong pro-copyright agenda.
“The WIPO is accepting NGOs as observer members in order to get a full picture on the topics it is covering. There are many organizations representing the copyright industries, and very few representing other parts of society,” Engels notes.
The US, representing the industrialized countries, motivated its objection by arguing that the Pirate Parties would not be able to contribute new points of view to the debate.
An odd statement, since the Pirates tend to have a rather unique perspective on most copyright issues.
PPI currently represents 43 parties worldwide who are backed by many voters. During the German elections last week, nearly a million people voted for the local Pirate Party.
The PPI is not easily defeated though, and says it will submit a new application for permanent observer status.