In recent years there has been an explosion of open and collaborative projects to create public goods. These projects are extremely important, and they raise profound questions regarding appropriate intellectual property policies. They also provide evidence that one can achieve a high level of innovation in some areas of the modern economy without intellectual property protection, and indeed excessive, unbalanced, or poorly designed intellectual property protections may be counter-productive. We ask that the World Intellectual Property Organization convene a meeting in calendar year 2004 to examine these new open collaborative development models, and to discuss their relevance for public policy.
I hope this gets somewhere; it’ll be interesting to see what the World Intellectual Property Organization has to say officially about open source, the Human Genome Project, the world wide web, and other unencumbered projects of this type.