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July 22, 2005

Does Article 27 assert the right to intellectual property protection?

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After my intervention, the representative from the Third World Network specifically accused me of distorting and misreading Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She accused me of demonstrating serious ignorance of this international agreement.

She's nuts. I reproduce below the text of Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Article 27.

(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

I directly confronted her afterward, carrying my laptop to her and showing her in my browser the text of Article 27.

"It doesn't say anying about intellectual property protection," she said. "I don't see the words 'intellectual property' anywhere in Article 27," she said.

Read it for yourself.

Update: I passed out printed copies of Article 27 to the various NGOs in the room. That went over well with some and, well, not so well with others.

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