We need a Ralph Nader for IP

I visited Rovaniemi over the weekend for another academic seminar. James Love — who started already in the 1970s as Ralph Nader’s aide — gave an energetic keynote on global intellectual property policy. Love knew practically everything about his subject…. thus I was left just wondering why the message does not sink in. Why there is so little if any impact on policy makers. Not from academics calling for balance or user rights, granted. But not even from experienced lobbyists like Love – except for a few hacks, as he called them. He remains a critic, an underdog. Why?

Perhaps the root of the problem is the ignorance of the general public. While the issues are there, they are not taken seriously because nobody knows about them.

Consumer rights were there but became real only after championed by Nader. Unsafe at Any Speed. Same goes for global warming. Al Gore and Inconvenient Truth. Who would take the role of star speaker for consumer interest IP? Love offered Stallman and Lessig but I had reservations for both.

A problem wih the current talks is always that the substance is broken into pieces. A separate hack here or there. You need good examples, but who would nail down the red line?