Repeal "UCPL"

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#133: Repeal "UCPL"

Category: Repeal
Proposed By: Gruenberg
Repeals: UCPL
Status: Passed
Adopted: Thu Dec 1 2005
Votes For: 9,077
Votes Against: 2,832

Resolution History


The final quarter of 2005 saw three repeals reach quorum. Feeling that this was not desirable, the representative of Inbreedia ranted against the repeal-happy culture of the modern UN, as they saw it. During the subsequent discussion, the representative of Ecopoeia mentioned that they wished to see the resolution UCPL, which attempted to establish common copyright and patent law throughout the United Nations, repealed. After support for this was added by Hurlbot Barfanger, Ambassador to the UN for Ausserland, discussion of the realistic possibility of a repeal attempt sprang up, with Moltan Bausch of Gruenberg taking the lead in writing a draft. Early discussions took place among the United Nations Old Guard. Thus, somewhat ironically, a plea for fewer repeals spawned a further successful repeal.

Proposal Campaign

The initial proposal was submitted after just under a week of drafting. It was shorter than the successful version, and omitted the final three preambulatory clauses, and thus paying less attention to the possibility of a replacement, although the repeal author did intend to draft a replacement. A moderate TG campaign elicited over 80 approvals, but the repeal failed to reach quorum.

One week later, the repeal was resubmitted, with clauses stressing the importance of global cooperation in copyright affairs added at the suggestion of the representative of Intellect and the Arts, who had contacted Gruenberg during the initial submission with concerns on this subject. Although their suggestion for a more substantive text would probably have been illegal under the rules for UN submissions, an acceptable compromise was reached. A heavier TG campaign saw several hundred delegates contacted, and by the third day, the proposal had reached quorum. It eventually went to vote with 177 approvals, having needed 129. This success elicited the now-famous comment from Ecopoeia's representative that "I love the smell of burning legislation in the morning".

UN Debate

The UN debate was especially unremarkable, and fewer than a hundred responses were made. Initially, several members of the United Nations Old Guard stepped forward to declare their support for the proposal. There were suggestions that it would have been more prudent to first pass a replacement, and then effect a repeal; in the light of past precedent, Lori Jiffjeff, legal aide to the Gruenberger Office of UN Affairs, cast her doubt on the legality of this approach.

The representative of Northern Sushi was among the first to state objection to the proposal, arguing that however inefficient the mechanism of UCPL, it was at least a method for ensuring that copyright law was obeyed, a claim disputed by repeal supporters, as they believed the actual idea of sharing copyright information was inherently doomed to failure, as it failed to take into consideration common approaches to copyright law, which assumed ownership of intellectual property without the need for a formal application. Many more representatives went on to voice their support for the repeal, regardless.

Stronger-worded objections were brought to the floor by Aram Koopman, Knootian ambassador to the UN, who declared a vote for the repeal 'a vote for communism'. This comment was taken as an insult by Nuck Chorris, standing in for the injured Gruenberger ambassador, Moltan Bausch; it was later justified as not an accusation of communism on behalf of Ambassador Bausch, but rather as incredulity that someone so ostensibly opposed to leftist economic policy would engineer a proposal that would inevitably benefit anti-capitalists over capitalists. This claim was never refuted by the Gruenberger Office of UN Affairs.

The other major opposition to the repeal came from the representative of Tzorsland, who delivered what he classed as a 'point by point rebuttal', arguing that the original resolution had been misinterpreted, that it served a useful purpose, and that no better replacement could, in any case, be achieved. His rebuttal went unanswered; the debate largely evolved into an exchange between the representatives of Love and esterel and Fonzoland as to the best way of drafting a replacement proposal covering patent law, after comments on the possibility of such made by the repeal author.

The Vote

The vote saw the biggest margin of victory returned since the repeal of "DVD Region Removal", with support of over 75%. Just over 200 delegates are believed to have voted (representing around 10% of the total possible delegate vote), including at least three feeder region delegates in support of the resolution.

Forum voters were met with poll options "Fuck yeah!" (support), "Fuck off." (oppose), or "What the fuck?" (abstain). The forum vote was a little more conservative than the total UN vote, although it still chose to support the repeal, by around a two-thirds margin.

Resolution Text

Repeal "UCPL"
A proposal to repeal a previously passed resolution.

Category: Repeal Resolution: #45 Proposed By: Gruenberg

Description: UN Resolution #45: UCPL (Category: Free Trade; Strength: Significant) shall be struck out and rendered null and void.

Argument: RECOGNISING that copyright and patent law are fundamentally different methods of protecting intellectual property;

NOTING WITH REGRET that this resolution makes no distinction between the two;

REALISING that there are profound differences in the way nations view the value and ownership of intellectual property;

BELIEVING that copyright law and patent law are such inherently complex concepts that no single resolution can formally and effectively create a universal system of UN law in this regard;

DEEPLY CONSCIOUS that the mechanism for sharing copyright described in UCPL would be impossible;

ALARMED at the cost of constructing and maintaining over 30,000 separate chapter offices in member capitals, and further sub-agencies;

REAFFIRMING the importance of global cooperation in copyright issues;

EXPRESSING ITS HOPE that nations will continue to work together in this respect;

BELIEVING that a more effective replacement for "UCPL" can be achieved:


Votes For: 9,077
Votes Against: 2,832
Implemented: Thu Dec 1 2005

Gameplay Impacts

The repeal had no major gameplay effect. It would have led to a slight decrease in economic freedoms in member nations, as it removed a Free Trade resolution; however, the more significant effects were purely roleplay.

Additional Materials

Gruenberg and the United Nations
Main topic
Resolutions: Repeal "UCPL"Repeal "Right to Divorce"Repeal "The Law of the Sea"Abortion Legality ConventionUN Demining SurveyRepeal "Banning the Use of Landmines"UN Recycling CommissionChild Pornography ProhibitionUN Educational Aid ActIndividual Working FreedomsClothing Supply PactFair Sentencing ActRepeal "Hearing Impaired Aid Act"
Staff: Biggles McXiminez
Former staff: Jianna WoltztenZlott WoltztenRittel WenkeinMoltan BauschNuck ChorrisRono PyandranLurs LenntoPendle KorbitzKirby DugganIffne HevanLori Jiffjeff