Draft GPUS Platform Amendment Advanced Technology

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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. Reduce copyright holders' monopoly to five 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.

2. Support legislation requiring federal, state and local governments to buy only open source software.

3. Support protection of software (free or proprietary) by means of the copyright.

4. Oppose granting of software patents.


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

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


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.