The world could have been close to full vaccination by now, if we had agreed on royalty free licensing for all approved vaccines. Instead we sacrifice life in the name of intellectual property and patents. That’s it. That’s the toot.

I recommend this nuanced conversation:

Hyo Yoon Kang - On IP Law, Monopolies & Why We Don't have a People's Vaccine for Covid-19 by The Arts of Travel • A podcast on Anchor

Even the most pessimistic of predictions, could not have foreseen the lack of global cooperation during the Covid-19 Pandemic. To try and help untangle this Gordian Knot I spoke to Hyo Yoon Kang, an Academic and Legal Theorist at the University - 1/4

of Kent.  From countries using 'Vaccine Nationalism' to engender loyalty from citizens, to Big Pharma jealously guarding IP even if it means more global deaths, to the Gates Foundation encouraging 'Vaccine Apartheid' in the name of defending Capitalism,  I discuss why the worst pandemic in recent memory has brought out the most selfish of behavior from corporations and government in a time when cooperation is needed more than ever.  For more with Hyo @jwildeboer - 2/4

Yoon, I highly recommend her long-form article here on the legal implications of Covid-19:

The Arts of Travel: Hyo Yoon Kang - On IP Law, Monopolies & Why We Don't have a People's Vaccine for Covid-19 @jwildeboer - 3/4

@nurinoas @jwildeboer not that I'm a huge fan of patents in general, but... isn't this the one case where the system actually does work? We have quite a few kinds of vaccines available, and the problem is not (yet) that they're too expensive but that they aren't available at all in the right quantities (... even though I'm sure pharma corps would be down for building extra capacity for extra money, it's just mostly... logistics?)

(not sure of this, just curious about opinions)

@ssafar The problem is that the patent owners cannot be forced to license their Intellectual Property. SO instead of hundreds of plants producing vaccine, we only have a few. And those plants that want and could produce are not getting licenses from Pfizer, AZ, Moderna etc. @nurinoas

@jwildeboer @nurinoas ... why aren't they though? I could imagine a single supplier creating artificial scarcity for better pricing, but there are actually numerous competing licensors; why isn't there actual competition between them, trying to supply plants with tech?

(again, this is not an argument, mostly just curious :))

@ssafar The argument by patent proponents is that forced licensing reduces the incentive to invest in research and therefore licensing must be protected at all costs. @nurinoas

@jwildeboer @nurinoas ... but then they _also_ argue that once licensing is protected well, everything else will be taken care of by market forces.

Which is obviously not true if they're in a monopoly position.

... but... apparently, it's also not working under ideal conditions, as in: in the presence of competitors?

(and I just don't clearly understand why.)

@ssafar With string IP rules, there is no free market. It really is that simple. Defending those strong IP rules is more important than vaccinating the world. It's disgusting, IMHO, but absolutely nothing new. @nurinoas

@jwildeboer @nurinoas it depends on the scope though. Obviously, there is no free market in "Pfizer vaccine"-s, but there are quite a few alternative ones already. If one of their competitors started licensing tech at the price people were willing to pay for a shot minus manufacturing cost & they still didn't, they'd lose out on profit.

@ssafar All manufacturers struggle with fulfilling the quantities they have sold to various countries. AstraZeneca being the worst. So for quite some months there simply won't be any market at all. @nurinoas

@jwildeboer @nurinoas well yes, selling something and then not ending up supplying it is always better business than actually being on time :P

@jwildeboer @nurinoas what is the benefit they're getting out of not licensing though? Aren't they supposed to be aiming for selling overpriced licenses to everyone? (or did they just overdo the "overpriced" part?)

@jwildeboer Considering how much public money went into the project, quite right

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