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Proposal Details

Proposal ID541
ProposalPLATFORM: Amendment to Chapter 4 - Intellectual Property and Advanced Technology
PresenterGPUS Platform Committee, Green Party of California, sponsor
Floor ManagerDavid Strand
Discussion08/02/2010 - 08/15/2010
Voting08/16/2010 - 08/22/2010
Presens Quorum31 0.6666
Consens Quorum73 0.6666 of Yes and No Votes


GPUS Bylaws Article IX. Platform

9-1.1 The GPUS Platform represents policies upon which most Greens would agree and serves as a basis for Green Presidential and Congressional campaigns. The Platform may only be amended as provided by this Article.

9-1.3 In even numbered years in which there is no Presidential Nominating Convention, the National Committee shall be the decision-making body responsible for amending the platform. The process shall be as established in the GPUS Rules and Procedures.

9-1.4 Amendments to the Platform may be submitted for consideration by any accredited state party or caucus, or any committee whose Mission Statement authorizes it.


Replace 2004 GPUS section called "Advanced Technology and Defense Conversion" with the following text. Change name of section called "Advanced Technology and Defense Conversion" to "Intellectual Property and Advanced Technology."


SECTION SUBTITLE: Restoring balance to our intellectual property and technology policies

OUR POSITION: Greens will reform our intellectual property and technology policies to save lives, promote a richer culture, and to serve environmental and social ends.



1. Oppose patenting, trademarking or copyrighting lifeforms, algorithms, DNA, colors or commonly-used words and phrases. We support broad interpretations of, and expanding the fair use doctrine for, copyrighted works.

2. Reform copyright laws to make non-commercial copying and use completely free. Encourage -- not criminalize -- file sharing and peer-to-peer networking.

3. Restore copyright holders' monopoly to 14 years, with a right of renewal for another 14 years, to enrich our cultural commons.

4. Support open source and copyleft models in order to promote the public interest and the spirit of copyright.

5. Oppose the abuse of trademark law to suppress political speech.


1. Support compulsory licensing and parallel importation of essential drugs. No one should die because they cannot afford a life-saving drug.

2. Prohibit pharmaceutical companies from charging exorbitant prices for drugs developed with federal research funds.

3. Substitute large prizes for patent monopolies to reward innovation in the pharmaceutical sector.


1. Encourage the use of open-source software. Support legislation requiring federal, state and local governments to buy only open source software.


1. Use the "precautionary principle" to guide all government decisions on technology policy.

2. Establish a federal Technology Assessment Office to evaluate whether our nation's most powerful technologies are consistent with the continuation of life on Earth and improving quality of life.




Gary Ruskin
Marnie Glickman
Bruce Hinkforth

Visit the Platform Committee webpage for this proposal at:
On the webpage, you can see various formats of the proposal created by the GPUS Platform Committee and the amendment proposal sponsors including the 2004 and 2010 texts side-by-side. You can also read and respond to comments from Greens around the country, including many who are not on the Green National Committee.

Here is the 2004 text of the section being amended:

Section Title: Advanced Technology and Defense Conversion

The Green Party supports defense technology transfer towards a peacetime technology-based economy, particularly new industrial applications and developments in the areas of advanced communications, alternative energy, non-toxic battery technology and waste management.

1. Consolidation of the nuclear weapons complex should move toward alternative civilian technologies and non-proliferation work, not toward a new generation of nuclear weapon design and production.

2. We recognize the need for de-escalating the continuing arms race, and we strongly oppose putting nuclear weapons, lasers and other weapons in space in a new militarization policy that is in clear violation of international law. [See section F. Demilitarization and Exploration of Space on page 15 in chapter I]

3. Let us go forward with government and civilian space programs; research initiatives in sustainability science, environmental protection, ecological economics and transportation, appropriate technologies and technology transfer; environmental sampling and monitoring; systems testing; laser communications; and high speed computers.

4. Let us devote a larger percentage of our nation’s research and development budget, both private and public, toward civilian use and away from military use. Let us address our chronic trade imbalance in this fashion – not by increasing exports of military weapons and technologies. [See section L. Advanced Technology and Defense Conversion on page 68 in this chapter]

5. The Green Party opposes patenting or copyrighting lifeforms, algorithms, DNA, colors or commonly-used words and phrases. We support broad interpretation and ultimate expansion of the Fair Use of copyrighted works. We support open source and copyleft models in order to promote the public interest and the spirit of copyright.

6. We call for a federal Technology Assessment Office to examine how technology fits with life on Earth, with our neighborhoods, and with the quality of our daily lives.


Advanced telecommunications technologies (many of which came originally from defense applications), such as fiber optics, broadband infrastructure, the Internet, and the World Wide Web hold great promise for education, decentralized economies, and local control of decision-making. We believe we must move toward decentralization in these efforts, carefully protecting our individual rights as we go forward.

7. Advanced and high definition TV, digital communications, and wireless communications hold promise and challenge. For example, the public airwaves that will accommodate the new generation of telecommunications technology should not be free giveaways to media giants. An auction and built-in requirements that attach licenses to act in the public interest is needed. Technology provides tools: we must use these tools appropriately and ethically. [See section J. Free Speech and Media Reform on page 37 in chapter II]

8. Broadband Internet access should be open to bidding, not simply the current choice between cable or telephone company monopolies, where grassroots Internet service providers must merge or go out of business. Broadband access should be a taxpayer-funded utility, like water and sewer, ending the “digital divide” that keeps low-income folks from access to the Internet.

Open-Source Software

Open-source software is necessary to achieve personal, cultural, and organizational security in the face of technological threats brought by corporations and individual criminals.

9. Government has a vital role in breaking up software monopolies, not so much by filing antitrust suits, but by buying nothing but open systems. The U.S. Government and the larger states are buyers large enough to influence the computer and software systems through their purchasing. It should be illegal for a government agency to create and store information vital to its operations in a format it doesn’t control. Governments should always consider storing information with open-source software and in-house staff instead of only commercial systems, vendors and software. One way to achieve this would be to add a virtual bid for in-house open source deployment whenever a software purchase goes out for bid.

10. The Green Party supports protection of software (free or proprietary) by means of the copyright. We strongly oppose granting of software patents. Mathematical algorithms are discovered, not invented, by humans; therefore, they are not patentable. The overwhelming majority of software patents cover algorithms and should never have been awarded, or they cover message formats of some kind, which are essentially arbitrary. Format patents only exist to restrain competition, and the harm falls disproportionately on programmers who work independently or for the smallest employers.


Nanotechnology – the science of manipulating matter at the molecular level – is poised to provide a new industrial revolution with vast social and environmental consequences. Like nuclear science and biotechnology, nanotechnology is being pursued largely outside of public debate, risking great harm and abuse in its use and application.

The Green Party calls for a halt to nanotechnology development until the following conditions are met:

11. Development of full and open public debate about the implications of nanotechnology and the fusion of nanotech with biological, materials and information sciences.

12. Development of democratic public control mechanisms which would regulate the direction of nanotechnology research and development.

13. Expanded research into the environmental and health consequences of exposure to nano-scale materials.

14. Development of technology to contain and monitor nano-scale materials, and.

15. Development of precautionary safety measures for the containment and control over nano-scale materials.

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