[A2k] IP Justice Stmt on Chilean Proposal for Development Agenda at WIPO
Tue Feb 21 11:30:01 2006
IP JUSTICE STATEMENT on CHILEAN PROPOSAL FOR A DEVELOPMENT AGENDA AT WIPO
by IP Justice Executive Director Robin D. Gross
at the 1st Session of the Provisional Committee on Proposals Related
to a WIPO Development Agenda
21 February 2006 - Geneva, Switzerland
Available online at: http://www.ipjustice.org/WIPO/DA022106.shtml
Thank you, Mr. Chairman and congratulations on your re-election. I
represent IP Justice, an international civil liberties organization that
promotes balanced intellectual property law.
IP Justice welcomes the thoughtful and constructive proposal put forth
by Chile. Chile=92s proposal contains three specific and concrete
measures that would greatly aid in bringing knowledge and innovation to
the developing world.
Chile=92s first proposal recognizes the significant social value of the
public domain, which supports the public policy objectives behind
intellectual property laws.
As noted by the US delegation in its intervention this morning,
copyrights and patents are intended to create a rich public domain that
all may access -- by providing a temporary economic incentive to
In addition to ordinary consumers, creators themselves are particularly
dependent on access to a robust public domain for education and
inspiration. The works of Mozart and Shakespeare are prime examples of
public domain works that have enriched humanity for generations,
something only possible if a work in the public domain.
Chile=92s second proposal to examine complementary incentives for
creativity, recognizes that exclusive monopoly rights are only one tool
among many available to reward creativity. Indeed in many cases,
exclusive monopoly rights are not the best mode of incentivizing
creativity. As a result, WIPO should not insist on forcing Member
Countries to rely upon only proprietary rights to achieve economic
development. Particularly when there are many alternative systems that
have created enormous value, such as Free and Open Source Software and
the Creative Commons licensing schemes. WIPO has an obligation to
remain neutral among the various tools for incentivizing creativity and
Chile=92s third proposal is also imperative to economic growth and
development in the South. Often over-looked, is the historical fact
that the US only recently began a maximal approach to IPR. And it is
because the US took the position in the past of permitting the open
exchange of information, that creativity and innovation were able to
flourish -- and the US able to become strong. Today=92s developing
countries should be permitted the same path to economic growth that the
US benefited from. A one-size-fits-all approach (XL) to IPR does more
harm than good in IP-importing countries that need flexibility to
protect their own national interests.
In conclusion, Chile=92s very helpful proposal is complementary to the
Friends of Development proposal and should be incorporated into a
Development Agenda at WIPO. Thank you, Mr. Chair.