Submissions/Intellectual property and free knowledge

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2014 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no. 2513
Title of the submission

Intellectual property and free knowledge.

Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)


Author of the submission

Fernando Otero.

E-mail address



Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

The objective of this presentation will be to analyze the relation between the intellectual property legal regime and free knowledge. The legal regime, which exists worldwide, regulates all activities related to the human intellect. It has two main branches: copyright and industrial property, this last branch is divided into patents (inventions) and trademarks (brand names).

An analysis of the current legislation in various countries is presented, pointing out the problems that arise at local and international levels. Intellectual property current conditions show an increasing criminalization in the infringement of intellectual property laws, and the registration agencies prove to have a very relaxed criteria for the issuing of intellectual property rights. While the most obvious issue would be the collision between the right of intellectual property holders and the right to access to the culture and education, we will try to expand the analysis beyond that. Through specific examples in copyright, patents and trademarks, we appreciate the challenges and threats that free knowledge communities are facing, from a more economic standpoint.

Free knowledge communities are hampered by two factors. On the one hand, because of the legal and economic system that not only favors, but encourages the production of goods protected by the intellectual property regime, partly because of the creation of artificial scarcity. This is particularly true with free software, which production has no incentive, as proprietary software is more profitable to make, due to its closed nature.

The other factor is the economic limitation and the subsequent helplessness of a free knowledge community to uphold its rights in that same regime which, also, does not provide legal basis for free knowledge projects, their licenses and/or their values.

In the analysis, we will take into consideration different scenarios that may arise in the political, economic and social levels in the future, and the possible courses of actions to take.

  • Legal & Free Culture
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)

40 minutes (including Q&A).

Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?

Pending scholarship approval.

Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

Interested attendees

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  1. OwenBlacker (talk) 20:37, 6 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
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