The Madrid Summit was outside my usual realm of intellectual property law, but the change served to remind me that while the copyfight is but a small part of the picture, the principles we’re fighting for are more than music.
The conference logo, pictured, was a circled “D”, often used in the same place a (TM) or (R) would indicate trademark status. Since it’s not quite so easy to instill and protect democracy as to register a trademark, all of us who care about democracy face a big task.
At least a part of that task is communication — communicating with other democratic citizens and with other people seeking democracy. The Internet is not a panacea; none of us is naive enough to assert that. It is, however, a powerful medium for two-way communication and that communication can promote human rights (including by reporting on abuses), support understanding of democratic alternatives to terror, and help communities to make their own, non-terror choices. I don’t think it’s stretching too far to say that protecting against abuses of privacy, copyright or trademark online strengthens these tools of democracy.