Germany is getting ready for a very special spectacle this weekend. 16.000 cops, 1100 soldiers, numerous bodyguards and secret service agents and a barb wired fence that is seven miles long and eight feet high are supposed to make sure that the attendees of the G8 summit won't notice 100.000 expected demonstrators and their demands regarding climate change, fair trade and similiar issues.

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This means that the odds of the copyleft activists who plan to attend the protests aren't too good. A German organization called Netzwerk Freies Wissen (network free knowledge) nevertheless published a declaration demanding "better development and just access to knowledge" this week. It states:

"We observe stronger enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) by the G8 countries, especially in the developing world. The debate is framed by governments of industrialized countries as protection against piracy and forgery. However, IPRs cover a huge array of exclusive rights, including patents on medicines, technology, and plants; copyrights; plant varieties protection; and data protection. These exclusive rights - held almost exclusively by companies of the Global North - have a huge negative impact on the life and developmental opportunities of billions of people. Furthermore, after a change in the global balance of economic power strong IPRs may have the same negative effect on the economy of the G8 countries.

We have a different vision. We believe that all human beings have the right to benefit from and contribute to the domain of human knowledge. We believe that sharing is more conducive to knowledge than control, that profit is only one motive for the creation of knowledge, and that no person should be denied what she or he needs because of artificial scarcity in any form, including scarcity created by misuse of intellectual property law."


Sharing is better than control. That sounds like something P2P activists should support, right? Well, if it only was that easy. Some file sharing friends apparently think that the declaration is too tame. Their vision just got published on the German Indymedia website:

"The abolition of all patents, copyrights, intellectual property rights and other forms of creative ownership would be a start for the redistribution (of wealth)."

Speaking of redistribution: The anonymous activists also published a list of links to Torrents of artists that will participate in an Anti-G8 concert next week. The slogan of the virtual street fighters: "Bootleg Bono, sink capitalism!"

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