IP Charter With ‘Public Interest Checklist’ For Governments Launched19/10/2005 by Tove Iren S. Gerhardsen for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service, and depends on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.A high-level group of legal scholars, artists, scientists and experts has launched an initiative urging governments to change the global intellectual property scheme which they argue has shifted too much toward private interests at the expense of the public.John Howkins, one of the founders of the Adelphi Charter on Creativity, Innovation and Intellectual Property, told Intellectual Property Watch that intellectual property laws are too strict and the balance between public and private rights should better serve the public interest.The charter provides a “public interest checklist” for governments, stating that the burden of proof should be on the patent and copyright filers trying to create new areas of intellectual property protection or extending existing privileges, with “wide public consultation” required throughout the process.The charter was launched at the United Kingdom Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce and will be presented to the national missions in Geneva, the headquarters of the UN World Intellectual Property Organisation.The authors of the charter include the Brazilian Culture Minister Gilberto Gil, the Nobel Laureate Sir John Sulston (who helped decode the human genome) and James Boyle of Duke University (United States).The 453-word charter emphasises that laws regulating IP should not be ends in themselves but should “serve as means of achieving creative, social and economic ends.” It has also linked intellectual property rights to human rights, saying they should serve rights to health, education, employment and cultural life.IP laws should thus be limited in time and scope. Boyle has pointed out that the lifespan of American copyright has grown from 14 years at the country’s inception to the life of the author plus 70 years. The charter says patents should not be extended over things like computer code, business processes, methods of medical diagnosis, therapy or surgery, or for databases compiling open facts.The Economist magazine challenged this, arguing that industries reliant on copyright and patent protection increasingly need legal backing to defend their businesses. For instance, the music industry has sued thousands of people for swapping songs online, it said.Howkins said the charter was only against patenting pure codes. It was also not opposed to patenting medicines but rather therapeutic processes which have increasingly become an issue in the United States.Howkins noted that this was not a development agenda-oriented document, but was global and favoured neither the North nor the South. He noted that the launch “had been very positive.”And the name? “Adelphi” is a Greek word meaning brother or brethren. “We chose the word because it catches the spirit of collaboration that underpins creative thinking,” said Howkins.Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Related"IP Charter With ‘Public Interest Checklist’ For Governments Launched" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.