With the takedown of Library.nu (formerly Gigapedia), the major US and UK publishers are joining the war on file sharing. This is a subject we’ll be paying a lot of attention to in the next couple years. Coincidentally, I gave a talk more or less on this issue at the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference on Tuesday.
Now that we’re post SOPA/PIPA (for now), it’s important to develop a larger framework for how intellectual property law can best serve the public ends of maximizing innovation and enriching our common culture. Last August, we helped organize a Global Congress to do just that. The result was the “Washington Declaration on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest.”
What’s in it? A lot of it is pretty obvious stuff, such as: policymaking shouldn’t be secret! And, take evidentiary standards seriously! Some of it is fairly technical, such as defending the first sale principle across borders to facilitate parallel importation. Not all of it is completely settled or specified–150 people contributed to this and we tried to do justice to their disagreements as well as agreements. The point is, it’s a very good place to start a larger conversation about how to make intellectual property law serve public ends–in both national and international law. If that matters to you, please give it a read and consider signing!