Thursday, February 22, 2007

Colombia, the Public Domain and the Development Agenda

February 22, 2007
Thiru Balasubramaniam

After instense negotiations today, the WIPO PCDA appreared to come to a consensus on proposals related to Cluster B: Norm-setting, Flexibilities, Public Policy and Public Domain with the following language.

1. Norm-setting activites shall:
-be inclusive and member driven;
-take into account different levels of development;
-take into consideration a balance between costs and benefits;
-be a participatory process, which takes into consideration the interests and priorities of all WIPO Member States and other stakeholders, including civil society at large; and
-be in line with the principle of neutrality of the WIPO Secretariat

2. Consider the preservation of the public domain within WIPO's normative processes and deepen the analysis of the implication and benefits of a rich and accessible public domain.

Colombia, however, expressed its reservations on the four proposals contained in Annex A and Annex B related to the protection of public domain. Colombia noted that a consensus process should not compel a dissenting minority to accept the view of the majority. Despite the progress WIPO has made in discussing norm-setting, flexibilities, public policy and public domain, dark clouds remain over the incorporation of good public policy principles into WIPO's normative processes.