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Internet Society Outlines Framework for Discussions on Intellectual Property Policy on the Internet

14 June 2013

Multi-stakeholder participation and inclusion, transparency, the rule of law, and respect for the Internet’s open architecture and open standards are essential tools for intellectual property policy discussions

Analysys Mason study explores how the Internet has contributed to content creation

[Washington, D.C. and Geneva, Switzerland]  The challenge of how to reconcile intellectual property rights and emerging Internet technologies and platforms has become a pivotal point of all Internet governance discussions. In its new paper on intellectual property policy, http://www.internetsociety.org/ip-paper , the Internet Society proposes establishing a set of fundamental processes and standards to facilitate and guide policy discussions on intellectual property issues.

The Internet Society urges all intellectual property policy stakeholders to consider the following minimum standards:

Intellectual Property and Transparency: In the context of intellectual property policy and legal processes, transparency is a significant issue in relation to the way international intellectual property agreements should be negotiated. All discussions about intellectual property on the Internet should be conducted under an inclusive multi-stakeholder framework.

Intellectual Property and the Rule of Law: Intellectual property should be based on principles such as due process, equality of rights, fairness, transparency, the right to be heard, and legal certainty.

Intellectual Property and Internet Architecture: The issue of intellectual property rights should be addressed in ways that do not undermine the global architecture of the Internet or curtail internationally recognized rights.

Innovation without Permission: All intellectual property laws and policies should bear in mind the OpenStand Modern Paradigm for Standards Development, which captures key aspects of the Internet development model.  This standards paradigm supports interoperability, fosters global competition, and encourages standards development through an open participatory process and voluntary global adoption.

According to Konstantinos Komaitis, Internet Society Policy Advisor, “An important point for the Internet Society in writing this paper is the understanding that intellectual property discussions, irrespective of whether they reflect trademark, copyright, or patent considerations and, as long as they primarily relate to Internet concerns or propositions, are part of the wider Internet governance discussions. This pragmatic rationalization is significant in making some subsequent determinations relating to the structure, design, and ultimate approach of such discussions.”  

The Internet Society also commissioned Analysys Mason to explore the impact of the Internet on global content creation. The resulting discussion paper, also released today, considered the evolution of the content industry in terms of spending, content development, and device adoption, with a focus on new business strategies developed by content owners and distributors in order to take advantage of, and monetize, online distribution.

The Analysys Mason report found that in recent years, there has been an increasing trend of online distribution of content, however this has not generally resulted in declining revenue for content owners. Although online distribution does present some threats to the existing business models of content owners, it allows for even greater opportunities that are already being exploited and there is large potential for further growth related to the online distribution of content in the future.

Michael Kende, Partner at Analysys Mason and co-author of the report, states, “New and innovative business models for distributing content to a growing variety of devices have led to a recent upturn in global revenues for recorded music, with video not far behind.  Our study shows that, by making rights available for online distribution, content providers are not only able to shrink the demand for pirated content, but also expand their markets and overcome corresponding decreases in the sale of physical content.”

To read the report, visit http://www.internetsociety.org/content-creation-paper

About the Internet Society
The Internet Society is the trusted independent source for Internet information and thought leadership from around the world. With its principled vision and substantial technological foundation, the Internet Society promotes open dialogue on Internet policy, technology, and future development among users, companies, governments, and other organizations. Working with its members and Chapters around the world, the Internet Society enables the continued evolution and growth of the Internet for everyone. For more information, visit www.internetsociety.org.

Media Contact:
Wende Cover, Internet Society, cover@isoc.org, +1-703-439-2773