Beyond Stop SOPA: Crafting a globally fit copyright regime?

With SOPA being contested in the US, and fora such as G20 paying attention to the use and protection of the results of intellectual activities on the Internet, the time seems right for addressing the above question. This story recalls what came before.

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  1. My own ''active'' journey in the intellectual property landscape started with the realisation that there are some flaws in the current copyright institutions. Intellectual Property rules had been crafted more than hundred years ago, when there was no Internet and there were no computers yet.

    The preamble to a desired international convention gives some more personal background,
  2. Early November 2011, at the G20 Cannes Summit:
  3. Dmitry Medvedev, the President of the Russian Federation, addressed the leaders of the G20 member states, on copyright:
  4. the proposal was called surprisingly sensible by an expert community
  5. Not much later, in the US the Stop the SOPA protest took off, prompting this response on January 14, 2012 by the Obama Administration:
  6. On Monday, January 16, these comments were written by Alex Fitzpatrick:
  7. With Alyssa Hewitt commenting: it’s not the internet law that needs to be re-visited. It’s copyright law in general. Why are we working backwards Congress?

    This prompted my response:
  8. Beyond SOPA
    Indeed, more attention should go to the copyright law as such; there are a number of proposals, such as in Dmitry Medvedev’s message to the G20 leaders, or Communia’s policy recommendations…These proposals include principles and approaches that need be agreed before (global) solutions can be crafted.

    The internet is only a technological channel, a global, great and ubiquitous one indeed, posing new challenges to your and our legal system.

    To avoid the tunnel vision – kind of ”To a Carpenter with a Hammer, Every Problem Looks Like a Nail’ – reasoned discussion and collaborative solutions -preferably global ones- must be pursued. In the UK there is a consultation ongoing following the release of an Independent Review of Intellectual Property and Growth (Hargreaves report).

    Yet we must mind, ”local legal system” solutions for a global problem, how is it going to work?

    My recommendation is that G20 and WIPO fasttrack the topic, mash up the current claims and clauses into a roadmap and draft legislation with sensible options, then launch a global consultation, and next craft a consensus that implements the agreed principles, taking into consideration the wisdom of the global community.

    Thus establishing a global IP landscape with legal security and protection of geniune produce and duly acquired property for all on fair terms, recognizing the content commons, etc

  9. Further supporting links:
  10. Postscript
    The IP Review Call for Evidence website lists a large number of comments. It would be more efficient if comments can be made in structured wikis, to chapters, sections or articles of proposed rules, such as illustrated in: