The Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest recently brought together 180 experts from around the globe at a forum concerning intellectual property issues from a public interest perspective. Together, they recently released what they're calling: The Washington Declaration on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest
. It's a fantastic document that basically lays out key recommendations for how policy makers should view intellectual property questions. It's such a fantastic list that you can almost certainly guarantee that policy makers will ignore it. Among the suggestions:
- Valuing Openness and the Public Domain
- Strengthening Limitations and Exceptions
- Setting Public Interest Priorities for Patent Reform
- Supporting Cultural Creativity
- Checking Enforcement Excesses
- Requiring Evidence-based Policy Making
Of course, if you've followed actual policy efforts over the last few decades, you'll know that almost all of it has gone absolutely against these principles. But, considering that intellectual property laws are supposed to
be about what's in the public interest, I'm really curious as to how policy makers and their supporters will write off this document and its recommendations.
The document was only released a few days ago, and already has received hundreds of signatures from those who endorse the principles and recommendations. So even if policy makers continue to ignore such recommendations, sooner or later they have to realize that there are other interests than a few legacy companies which don't want to adapt to a changing world.