Brazilian Minister Gilberto Gil: “WIPO can not ignore the emergency of a new thought and cooperative ways of stimulating creation”
Last Tuesday, the 28th of November, World Culture Forum had as its main activity the I Creative Economy for Development International Forum. The Centre for Technology and Society (CTS) of Fundação Getúlio Vargas Law School was represented on the Intellectual Property Rights and Development symposium and on the IP Rights and Multilateral Agreements: What’s Next? workshop.
With the participation of the Brazilian Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil, Professor Ronaldo Lemos (Creative Commons Brazil and CTS), Richard Owens (WIPO, Geneve), John Howkins (writer and consultant on TV, film and creative economy, UK), Sérgio Sá Leitão (Brazilian Development Bank – BNDES, Brazil), Garry Neil (International Network for Cultural Diversity, Canada) and Joxean Fernández (UNESCO, Uruguay), the Intellectual Property Rights and Development symposium worked as a channel for a Minister’s call for the need of balancing intellectual property for developing countries:
“In view of the amplitude of intellectual property, there is no more space for dogmas on this theme. The Law must reach creative, social and economic purposes and must consider the situation of developing countries. It is necessary that the intellectual property world system embrace all possibilities. Japan modifies its regulatory mark every five years due to technological changes. We shall do the same. The Law must be well settled. The future of capitalist system is conditioned to the rethinking on intellectual property model. I saw both sides, as an artist and as a politician, and have been embracing the alternative creativity models cause. WIPO can not ignore the emergency of a new thought and cooperative ways of stimulating creation. The upcoming intellectual property models must think about the development policies according to national necessities of developing countries”.
Richard Owens, director of the Copyright, E-Commerce, Technology and Management Division of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), said that “today there is already a greater flexibility on copyright, but we still find some bottlenecks in it. There is still a resistance about if webcasting must be protected or not. This is a challenge”.
The Centre for Technology and Society (CTS) of Fundação Getúlio Vargas Law School was also represented on the Forum’s workshops by Professor Pedro Paranaguá, A2K Brazil Programme coordinator.
On the IP Rights and Multilateral Agreements: What’s Next? workshop, Professor Paranaguá referred to the analyst James Boyle, in his column published on Financial Times newspaper, by observing that, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNPD), less than 1% of existing patents in the world are owned by developing countries, and that, “since only about 4 per cent of copyrighted works more than 20 years old are commercially available, this locks up 96 per cent of 20th century culture to benefit 4 per cent”.
I was sketched an evolutionary outlook on WIPO, from its foundation, in 1967, when its objective was to protect the intellectual property until its integration to United Nations (UN) in 1974. From then on, OMPI’s objective turned into “promoting creativity and technological development. So, intellectual property started having a social purpose, being a way for development, not an end in itself.
With the World Trade Organization (WTO) foundation and the creation of its foreseen sanctions against countries disrespecting rules that – for the first time in History – entail IP to commerce, there was an hardening on the deal with intellectual property. Nevertheless, still, United States manifest its intentions for expanding more and more the protection for IP withholders, through a range of bilateral treaties. Professor Paranaguá highlighted the North American unilateral pressure mechanisms, carried out through the United States Trade representative (USTR) and its famous ’black list’ or priority watch list [.pdf]. Concluding, it was exposed the influence of those bilateral and unilateral pressure measures in the protection level increasing and developing countries prejudice.
The event, that took place in Rio de Janeiro from the 26th to 29th of November, was organized by the South-South Cooperation Special Unit (SU-SSC) on the ambit of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), headquartered in New York, in partnership with the World Culture Forum and in collaboration with United Nations agencies, among them UNESCO.