A coalition of 85 think tanks, advocacy groups, and organizations has written to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to push home just how vital copyright is for vibrant economies around the world. The collective spans 51 countries and represents a significant request to develop intellectual property respect on a global scale.
The group, headed up by the Property Rights Alliance, reaffirmed their support for strong IP laws in a letter to the Director General of WIPO, Dr. Francis Gurry (pictured below, right, with actor Javier Bardem).
The communication covers eight key areas that the collective organizations believe cut to the heart of copyright’s social and economic benefits. These are:
- Rule of Law, Property, and a Transparent Political Environment are the Foundation of Fair and Prosperous Societies
- Intellectual Property Rights are Affirmed in International Treaties as a Human Right
- Intellectual Property Rights Promote Free Speech and Expression
- Intellectual Property Rights are Integral to Consumer Protection and Global Security
- Strong Intellectual Property Rights and Contractual Freedom Promote Free and Competitive Markets
- Intellectual Property Rights are Vital to Economic Competitiveness
- Intellectual Property Rights Must Be Protected Through Effective IP Provisions in Trade Agreements
- Intellectual Property Rights Must Be Respected and Protected on the Internet
As a set of guiding principles and touchstones for a stronger society, this is a compelling list. It’s all too easy to limit our thinking around copyright and intellectual property to piracy of music and movies, but the reality is that IP lies at the heart of our culture.
Knowing that what we create is protected by law and, accordingly, that we can leverage it for economic gain if a market exists, develops an environment in which creative minds can flourish.
They understand not only that their work will be respected, but that it will be protected so that they can build a career upon it, rather than just dabble as a hobbyist.
The letter echoes this sentiment in its conclusion:
“Advanced societies have long understood that by protecting the proprietary rights of artists, authors, entrepreneurs, innovators and inventors, they were promoting the greater public welfare. “
Urging the maintenance and development of intellectual property safeguards for the next generation, the letter neatly sums up the challenge facing creators on a global scale. With such rapid advancement of technology as we have seen in the last few decades, protecting the core concepts of IP becomes more important than ever.
Doing so on a global scale is even more challenging, but equally offers enormous potential for developing and developed markets alike.
The World Intellectual Property Organization is uniquely placed to guide treaty discussion and policy on the international stage, and it can aid creative minds everywhere by heeding the guidance laid out in the coalition’s letter.