Panel Calls For Disclosure Of Industry Methodology Assessing Losses To Piracy 09/11/2009 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (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)Intellectual property rights enforcement has risen on the global trade and IP agenda, but greater transparency in the evaluation of piracy and assessments of broader social implications may be needed, according to speakers at a side event last week. Co-organised by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the event presented the findings of recent research on piracy and IP enforcement in developing countries. The event was held during the 2-4 November World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Advisory Committee on Enforcement. SSRC presented a research project focused on copyright piracy involving 25 researchers in seven countries and aimed at providing empirical research on piracy. Industry research has “owned” the debate for a number of years, said Joe Karaganis, program director for media and democracy at SSRC. In the field of copyright, research is difficult and requires a global network, which is accessible by the copyright industry. The research project seeks to bring the developing country perspective into a serious debate on developed country losses, primarily losses in the United States due to piracy outside the US. Karaganis noted that piracy also has obvious social benefits, which explains its persistence. In developing countries, piracy is often the primary means to access media goods. SSRC has concerns about the integrity of industry research, said Karaganis, although there are genuine and valuable research projects in the industry. There is a need for industry research to be documented, to know the inputs used by industry and its methodology, he said, as more transparency in the process would add credibility to the results. SSRC recommended that WIPO put pressure on industry to display their research methodology. In Brazil, patents, trademarks and copyright violations might be perceived as piracy from the way they are presented in the media, said Pedro Mizukami of the Fundação GetulioVargas in Brazil, and little work is being done to differentiate them. The foundation is collaborating on the SSRC report. One of the concerns of the foundation is that there has been increased activities on IP enforcement in recent years and an increase in the media exposure. Public discourse on IP enforcement and IP rights in general could be improved, according to Mizukami, especially in a time of intense public consultations when the public needs access to information that is up to date and offers multiple points of views. The report found that both the public and private sector are interested with the quality of research on piracy and counterfeiting but this does not necessarily translate into actual reporting of numbers, Mizukami said. For Oona Castro of the Instituto Overmundo in Brazil, the main concerns are the access to knowledge and culture, and a balanced public debate on these issues. The Brazilian government needs to be firm against piracy and should be concerned about international trade policy and relations but the awareness campaign and public debate should not be contaminated by numbers, Castro said. Judges are not equipped to deal with IP issues and most government public servants are trained mainly by industry on these issues, said Castro, who called for multiple perspectives and a balanced view. Rodrigo Araujo, of the Ministry of External Relations of Brazil said that availability of data is important, and that Brazil sent a paper asking for WIPO to develop a new and reliable methodology to assess counterfeiting policy during the Advisory Committee on Enforcement (IPW, WIPO, 6 November 2009). In organising this event, ICTSD said it considered Recommendation 45 of the WIPO Development Agenda, which calls for members “to approach intellectual property enforcement in the context of broader societal interests and especially development oriented concerns,” in accordance with Article 7 of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (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 Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."Panel Calls For Disclosure Of Industry Methodology Assessing Losses To Piracy" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.