Research and Development
I foresee the next stage in the development of the Distributed
Intellectual Property Rights (DIPR) system would require a multidiscipline
research and feasibility study to fully understand all the technicalities
of the system, to try and predict its impact, and compare DIPR with
current and proposed systems for regulating intellectual property.
I see that this study should cover four principle disciplines -
legal, technical, social, and economic. I detail some of the questions
that need to be answered below. The results of this study could
be then be used to provide recommendations for the full-scale development
of the DIPR system.
The scope of DIPR system involving a new way of treating intellectual
property on an international scale and the requirement for an extensive
Internet structure to support the system raises numerous questions?
Questions of feasibility and costs head the list but there are many
others including social acceptance and an analysis of the benefits
compared to the current copyright regime. Some questions to be answered:
Legal framework for DIPR:
What extensions to the current international legal framework would
be required to support the Collective Rights philosophy and the
How could the DIPR system be integrated with existing legal framework?
Would copyright law or other intellectual property laws have to
be modified or could the DIPR system coexist with the current laws
as they stand?
Is it feasible to enact any new laws required on an international
scale? What would be the route for this? What time scale?
Define the basic Internet structure and protocols required to support
the DIPR system.
What is the best infrastructure to support the large number of
persistent identifiers required? Is such a structure feasible?
Is it possible to provide sufficient security?
What would be the baseline cost of issuing each identifier?
What would be the cost of operating a typical Rights Office?
I believe that further research into the evolutionary principles
which might be applied to units of information in a dynamic environment
would be useful in predicting the operation of the DIPR environment
and could provide insights into its required structure and future
business models based on intellectual property.
Recommendations should also be developed for the introduction of
such a system, including public awareness and education with a emphases
on the consumer rights involved.
As I state in feasible section, the
DIPR system recognises intellectual products as a 'public good'
and attempts to treat them as such. An analysis of the economic
efficiency of the DIPR system and the costs vs. benefits to society
of the DIPR system in comparison to copyright would be most helpful
in evaluating the DIPR proposal.