Well some better news today, the Green Party is working on its policy paper for the manifesto on intellectual property.
I think this is a good start but it needs open sourcing, please look and try and iron out any bugs, many hands make better policy!
Please send suggestions.
Good work from the policy community I think...but tell me your ideas and I will transmit them back
1. The term intellectual property covers a number of different areas, such
as cultural products, software, physical inventions, drugs and natural
entities protected or not protected by different means such as copyright,patents and trademarks. There are differences within and between these
areas, and there can be no single intellectual property policy. The crucial
balance in policy is between ensuring that there is adequate funding and incentive for innovation for socially and environmentally valuable activity and encouraging the widest possible sharing of these rights, which are public goods. Policy
2. Our general presumption is to encourage the Green value of greater sharing (see EC*330) and to restrict the granting of exclusive rights more than at present. Specific policies are below.
3 On cultural products (literature, music, film, paintings etc) and software we will a) introduce a Citizen's Income (see EC*620), which will allow many more people to participate in cultural creation in particular; b) introduce generally shorter copyright terms, with a usual maximum of 14
years; c) de-criminalise peer to peer copying where it is not done as a business; d) liberalise 'fair use' policies to operate outside the academic environment, and allow greater development from existing copyright material;and e) make it impossible to copyright broad software and cultural ideas.
4. So far as designs embodied in physical objects are concerned, we would generally shorten patent terms and relate them to the timescale of innovation in the industry concerned. We believe that specific measures are needed to spread already patented ideas needed by many people who may not be able to afford them and to promote research in socially useful areas where the poverty of the potential customers makes rewards unlikely (eg drugs for tropical diseases): a) in the long term we would promote international funding (perhaps from a Tobin Tax (see EC8422)) for patents based entirely on global social and environmental usefulness, with the patent becoming available to all once the payment had been made; b) in the absence of such an international regime, we would enable the government effectively to nationalise a patent where it was in the public interest to do so. Such a patent would be publicly available and the creators of the patent compensated; c) funding a programme of government research in socially and environmentally useful areas where the prospect of inadequate rewards inhibit research activity.
5. We would encourage and make easier the voluntary use of the open source model, not just for software, and use public procurement to promote open source products.
6. All material created in the public sector (eg maps, government publications, university research) would be freely available to all, and Crown Copyright would cease to exist.
7. We do not support the patenting of living material (see ST360, AG613,AR410).
8. We would seek a radical revision of the WTO's Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) regime with the aims of restricting the protectionof multi-national corporations patent rights in poorer countries and restoring the ability of such countries to run their own intellectual property rights regimes.
Tom's blog is good on all this!