The Australian Institute for Progress was happy to support this open letter to the Director of the World Intellectual Property Organisation from the Property Rights Alliance. Properly constructed property rights are a cornerstone to social, cultural and commercial advancement.
The media release accompanying the letter is below:
The Media Today, amid global debates on trade and regulatory reforms, the Property Rights Alliance (PRA) issued an open letter to WIPO Director Dr. Francis Gurry in support of strong protections for all types of Intellectual Property.
This broad international coalition of 85 organizations from 51 countries calls for global policymakers to bear serious consideration to the integral role that the IP rights of innovators, creators and entrepreneurs plays in economic, technological and cultural advancement. Signatories argue that policymakers should focus on preserving and enhancing IP protections by seeking solutions to systemic IP theft and damage.
The following can be attributed to Lorenzo Montanari, Executive Director of the Property Rights Alliance:
Through this letter we want to encourage the leaders of international organizations and governments to work together to promote the rule of law and protect strong IP rights as the engine of fair, prosperous and transparent societies. Ensuring that intellectual property rights are respected and protected in every nation will promote prosperity, innovation and creativity around the globe.
The letter offers governments and NGOs guidelines on the protection of the rule of law, transparency, and the international protection of property rights, which must be part of the backbone of any free market economy in the 21st century. IP is fundamental, the groups argue, to promoting free speech, free trade, and fair competition. Creators and innovators must be protected from theft and counterfeit. As Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights points out, intellectual property rights are human rights crucial to moral and material well being.
The letter affirms:
- Rule of Law, Property, and a Transparent Political Environment are the Foundation of Fair and Prosperous Societies
- Intellectual Property Rights are Affirmed in International Treaties as a Human Right
- Intellectual Property Rights Promote Free Speech and Expression
- Intellectual Property Rights are Integral to Consumer Protection and Global Security
- Strong Intellectual Property Rights and Contractual Freedom Promote Free and Competitive Markets
- Intellectual Property Rights are Vital to Economic Competitiveness
- Intellectual Property Rights Must Be Protected Through Effective IP Provisions in Trade Agreements
- Intellectual Property Rights Must Be Respected and Protected on the Internet
The letter concludes by stating:
Advanced societies have long understood that by protecting the proprietary rights of artists, authors, entrepreneurs, innovators, and inventors, they were promoting the greater public welfare. The continued protection of these fundamental rights is essential to global innovation, creativity and competitiveness.
You can access the full letter here.