Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Tue Mar 14 06:16:01 PST 2000

Under Rakesh's prodding, I asked a source in organized labor what the AFL-CIO's position on intellectual property restrictions. The answer was that because they have members whose income depends on them - artists & writers - they can't take too radical a position. Ditto technology transfer, which would hurt machinists and autoworkers. The line they take instead is that worker rights should be defended as strongly as IP rights. The source says they are looking into longer-term ways of compensating artists & writers better, and also considering some positions that would address "developing" country and NGO concerns - e.g. banning the patenting of life forms and waiving IP on life-saving drugs, especially HIV/AIDS drugs. They're also looking into whether they could support concessions in trade-related investment measures (TRIMs) for developing countries that observe core labor standards.


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