Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, July 22, 2006

More on the Adelphi Charter, OA, and accountability for the public interest

The Creative Economy Forum is calling for a new body to regulate IP law in the UK to restore and maintain balance. From its July 20 press release:
Britain should set up a new body to regulate intellectual property in the public interest, according to the Creative Economy Forum. The body should be set up by statute and modelled on industry regulators such as OfCom. Its task would be to ensure intellectual property laws serve the public interest by encouraging more creativity and innovation. It would follow the principles of the RSA Adelphi Charter on Creativity, Innovation and Intellectual Property....

The new Office of Intellectual Property (OfIP) would take on all the Patent Office’s existing powers and responsibilities but operate within a policy framework shaped by the public interest. Government would have to account for the public interest instead of a narrow business focus as now....

Further information can be found in, Who Owns the Law? submitted to the Treasury Gowers Review of intellectual property.

The Adelphi Charter is an exemplary statement of balanced IP principles. It endorses OA in Principle 7. (For more details, see my newsletter for October 2005.)

In Who Owns the Law, John Howkins elaborates on the call for IP balance in the UK and annotates the relevant provisions of the Adelphi Charter. Excerpt:

7. Government must facilitate a wide range of policies to stimulate access and innovation, including non-proprietary models such as open source software licensing and open access to scientific literature.

Comment: The global General Public Licences (GPL) for free and open source software, the global Creative Commons licences, and Australia’s AEShareNet licensing protocols, are important and beneficial alternatives to proprietary systems. Governments should take the lead in supporting their equitable use in public procurement and education. Competition authorities should ensure users who wish to use alternative licences are not discriminated against. Any government education programme on IP should cover both proprietary and non-proprietary systems.