Journal Name: Prometheus, Volume 13, Number 1, June 1995
Global Property Rights in Information: The Story of Trips at the GATT
by Peter Drahos
This paper tells the story of how the US managed to secure an agreement, which heavily favoured it, on intellectual property at the GATT. This agreement has important implications for global information flows. Understanding this event, the paper argues, will help us to understand some of the mechanisms which operate to bring about global regulatory institutions. Coercion of some kind will be fundamental to the constitution of global regulatory orders.
GATT, intellectual property, international regulation, TRIPS
Information for All or Knowledge for the Elite? The Contours of a Dissimilar European Information Policy
by Jorg Becker
In the areas of telecommunications and databanks, the following developments are likely to occur in the former CMEA countries: 1 Eastern Europe will loose human resrouces through brain drain. 2. Owing to a chronic lack of hard currency, information transfer from West to East will decrease. 3. The change from large national markets to small markets will involve immense cost and will impede the development of market economies. 4. In telecommunications, the technical integrity of networking will be endangered by inadequate planning. 5. Improvement to only metropolitan telecommunications and supply of telecommunications only in response to economic demand will deprive the general market of investment and ensure that telecommunications is available only to the rich. 6. Financing of Eastern European telecommunications by Western European firms will lead to dependency. 7. Western telecommunications firms will be interested in serving only the economically powerful. 8. Eastern European enterprises will become merely branches of West European concerns.
Eastern Europe, databank, telecommunications, information policy
'Want of Novelty' and Patent Ligigation: The Case of the Cyanide Process of Gold Extraction 1892-1902
by Alan Lougheed
In the years between 1887 and 1910, two major processes for the extraction of precious and base metals from their ores, the cyanide and the flotation processes, were developed. While these were very important advances in the technology affecting the mining industry (and are still as important now as they were when first used) they were both subjected to fierce litigation in the Courts. This is the story of the cyanide process.
Technological advance and transfer, gold mining, cyanide process, patent litigation.
Research Management and Commercial Markets: Cultural Change in Australian Research Institutions
by Tim Turpin and Adrian Deville
Research institutions and universities have undergone significant organisational change during the past decade. While these organisation have been pressed to attract an increasingly larger proportion of their research budget from industry, they have introduced business principles and practices in order to manage their scientific research and to focus it more on producing commercial outcomes. As individual scientists and institutions have responded to these changing research environments, the research cultures of these organizations have undergone a transformation. This paper seeks to unpack the notion and process of 'cultural change' and to emphasize the social dynamics that underpin such change.
CSIRO, organizational change, cultural change, research management
Persuading the Public to Make Better Use of Natural Hazards Information
by Geoff Gregory
Although natural hazards information is enthusiastically promulgated, research show that the majority of the public adopt few of the self-protective behaviours recommended by civil defence authorities. Fear appeals seem to be unpredictable in their results and largely ineffective in their desired outcomes. Some of the complex factors intervening between perception and behaviour are reviewed. Communication that induces a community to make itself better prepared against natural disasters must incorporate messages inspiring people to find it worthwhile to search for more information about what they and their neighbours and friends can do for themselves to reduce the risks.
Natural hazards, public perception, information transfer, persuasion, self-protective behaviour
The Faustian Bargain: How Cuba is Financing a New Telecommunications Infrastructure
by Edward Mozley Roche and Michael James Blaine
Cuba has a poor telecommunications infrastructure with 19 persons for each telephone. The switching equipment is analog, and dated. In addition, Cuba is in a difficult political situation due to the dispute with the United States over compensation for properties expropriated during the revolution. Yet, in despite of its communist traditions of state ownership, in 1994 it sold 49% of its telecommunications company to a private Mexican firm. An explanation for this is found in the technology needs of the island and the different financial options available to Cuba, including issuing bonds, taking out commercial loans, and making private stock placements.
Cuba, telecommunications, development finance, privatization
Japan's Use of Collaborative Research to Build a Computer Industry: Lessons for the UK?
by Tim Ray and Tim Buisseret
The announcement by Japan's Ministry of Trade and Industry in 1981 of its intention to use government-sponsored collaborative research to lead the world towards 'Fifth Generation' computing prompted a sudden enthus1asm for collaboration in Europe and the US. The UK was at the vanguard of this movement to 'learn from Japan' and used pre-competitive collaborative research as the central organizing theme of its Alvey Programme to strengthen the country's ability to compete in advanced information technology (IT). While Alvey produced a number of benefits, commercialization of research outputs fell short of popular Western perceptions of Japan's achievements. However, a review of MITI schemes prior to the Fifth Generation announcement reveals that, for the most part, they were neither pre-competitive nor collaborative. Moreover, problems with abstracting the operations of MITI's scheme from other aspects of Japan's national innovation system undermine their value as a model for UK policy.
Collaborative research, competitiveness, government policy, computer industry, information society
(This journal is available online: http://www.tandf.co.uk/online.html)
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