Global Information Commons

Key Principles

Knowledge is the heritage and property of all humanity and thus is free. It is an unlimited resource and it grows as you share it. Commercially exploited knowledge is merely an exception to this rule. Knowledge therefore may not be put at the exclusive disposal of private users, because it represents the reservoir from which new knowledge is created. In the Information or Knowledge Society a new balance between the interests of IPR-holders and the public interest in free flow of information and access to knowledge on behalf of developement, innovation and creativity should be found.

Moreover, more and more IP rights are owned by IT or culture companies, especially very big multinational corporations. They are lobbying strongly to strengthen IP rights and construct universal IP regimes all over the world through WIPO and WTO TRIPS. In this global IP regimes, fair use rights, right to access information, and freedom of speech are severely violated, as we see in the Napster case. Moreover, global IP regimes are not beneficial for developing countries. In this regards, It should be reconfirmed that fundamental purpose of IP rights is to promote the prosperity of human development and cultural plurality and diversity, and in this context, global IP regimes should be reviewed to restore the balance between the rights to participate in, enjoy and share cultural life of community, the arts and knowledge and the IP rights.

Action Lines

- The IPR-system, (copyright, patent) needs a fundamental review. Of central relevance here are the TRIPS agreements and WIPO Conventions which should be reviewed.
- Development can best be encouraged through tailoring a diversity of copyright regimes to the different circumstances. Each country should have the right to make the law and policy including IP law for developing its own knowledge base and culture, without any oppression of other countries.
- The duration of Copyright holders´ monopoly should vary in different contexts
- The concept of "fair use" should be protected to maximize the potential of creativity of the public sphere. Non-commercial use of digital contents should be regarded and protected as fair use.
- Alternatives to the existing Copyright system should provide more open and collective ownership structures.
- The right to access to drugs should not be limited by patent, especially pharmaceutical patent, and national policy for public health such as compulsory license should be allowed without interference of other countries as addressed in the declaration on TRIPS agreement and public health adopted in Doha WTO ministrial conference.
- To strength public domain including open contents and open/free software.
- IP rights should not be granted to the contents or technology created by public fund.
- Freedom of speech and privacy rights should not be threatened by misuse of IP rights, especially by controlling ISP(Internet Service Provider).
- Copyright or similar monopoly right should not be granted to the databases.

Contact: Seán Ó Siochrú  / Olga Drossou / Oh, Byoungil



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On the Way Towards the Charter