Dear Dr. Idris:
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.
Broad enough to get general support and, although one could argue that more meeting scheduling is not something to hope for, or that this could also have been folded nicely into the WSIS, I do agree that it would be nice to get a declaration that IPRs are not the be-all end-all of development, progress and equity.
appendix to the letter lists seven areas where innovation can occur
without intellectual property protection or even where IP protection
Amongst the signatories are three of the faculty members present at ILaw, Yochai Benkler, Larry Lessig and Jonathan Zittrain, and many other notables.