Saturday, April 26, 2008

On April 26

On this day in ...
... 1998 (10 years ago today), 75-year-old Juan Gerardi Conedera, a Roman Catholic Bishop, was fatally bludgeoned in Guatemala City, Guatemala. His death occurred 2 days after he issued Nunca Más (Never Again), his "scathing report on human rights violations committed during the country's 36-year civil war." In June 2001, a Guatemalan court sentenced to 30 years in prison the retired colonel, the captain, and the sergeant whom it had convicted of the murder. (photo credit: Bishop Gerardi's funeral procession)
... 2008 (today), is celebrated the 8th annual World Intellectual Property Day. It was founded by the group responsible for monitoring global developments in intellectual property, aptly named the World Intellectual Property Organization, or WIPO. Its Director General, Kamil Idris, states, with good reason:
The man or woman in the street might wonder just what makes intellectual property worth all this effort. What, they might ask, do the workings of copyrights, patents, industrial designs or trademarks have to do with the really big issues, like how to stop global warming; or with the things that add spice to life, like watching their favorite athletes perform in this year’s Olympics?

His answer:
The answer is that, without intellectual property rights, many new technologies developed to tackle global problems would never see the light of day and the great sporting events, which entertain and unite us, would not be broadcast into homes across the globe.

And for that reason, he concludes:
[O]n World Intellectual Property Day, we pay tribute to the inventors and artists, great and small, who enrich our existence with the fruits of their innovative thoughts and creative vision.

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