I have finally managed to read the Adelphi Charter on Creativity, Innovation and Intellectual Property (formerly known as the IP Charter). The Charter was drafted by a distinguished panel of IP law experts, creators and activists (including Professor Hector MacQueen). Some other people assisted with the research process, such as fellow blogger Abbe at IPEdinburgh (her comment about it here).
I am terribly impressed by how relevant and concise it all is. Take for example article 9:
9. In making decisions about intellectual property law, governments should adhere to these rules:What? Policy based on actual evidence? You must be joking! Seriously though, I believe that this is one of the most important points in the Charter given the amount of inflated claims by all camps involved in the modern IP debate. Change must come only when necessary, not just because content owners want to continue lining their pockets at the expense of the public domain.
* There must be an automatic presumption against creating new areas of intellectual property protection, extending existing privileges or extending the duration of rights.
* The burden of proof in such cases must lie on the advocates of change.
* Change must be allowed only if a rigorous analysis clearly demonstrates that it will promote people's basic rights and economic well-being.
* Throughout, there should be wide public consultation and a comprehensive, objective and transparent assessment of public benefits and detriments.