Can Intellectual Property Be a Source of Repression?

Posted on Categories Intellectual Property Law, Public

Concerned with the current direction of world intellectual property law, an international group of intellectual property and information policy experts has issued the Washington Declaration on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest. The Declaration calls for a re-articulation of the “public interest dimension in intellectual property law and policy” and expresses concern for the “unprecedented expansion of the concentrated legal authority exercised by intellect property rights holders.”

The document’s primary assertions are that national and international “intellectual property policy affects a broad range of interest within society, not just those of rights holders,” and that “markets alone cannot be relied upon to achieve a just allocation of information goods—that is, one that promotes the full range of human values at stake in intellectual property systems.”

The document was issued following the Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest, held at American University in Washington, D.C. from August 25-27, 2011. As of September 9, there were 420 signatories to the document. Early signers include Marquette University Law School Professors Irene Calboli (#187) and Gordon Hylton (#243) and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Professors Dick Kawooya (#191) and Richard Grusin (#376).

The text of the Washington Declaration can be found at http://infojustice.org/washington-declaration.

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