[Fsfe-ie] european constitution and IP

Fergal Daly fergal at esatclear.ie
Wed Mar 9 18:52:19 CET 2005

Article II-77


Right To Property

1. [stuff about physical possessions]

2. Intellectual property shall be protected

This bothers me, unlike the American constitution which states a goal and
instructs the govenment to try to achieve that goal. From this come laws
that try to achieve that goal by allowing certain types of ideas to be
turned into "property" but if these laws ever became a hindrance to
achieving the goal they could be found to be unconstitutional.

The European constitution takes IP protection as an axiom with no
explanation and no provision for exceptions or even time limits (not that
I've read the whole thing but a grep for "intellectual" turns up just this

This could conceivably mean that a law which removes IP protection could be
found unconstitutional, even one that limits the duration of copyright. 

Am I missing something or is this the disaster it seems to be?


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