The Secular Party recognises that intellectual property rights protect the interests of creators and provide incentives for innovation. However property rights should not be derived from non-creative findings. Indigenous communities should maintain ownership of innovations derived from their custodial knowledge, and patents derived from the human genome, the custodial property of us all, should be limited.
Recognising that such rights are a reciprocal arrangement, and the need for ideas to return to the public domain, our policy is that copyright not be extended to more than 50 years after the author’s or creator’s death (as compared to the current 70 years).
Intellectual property rights should not subvert long-held understandings about what ‘ownership’ means. They should not limit an owner’s freedom to use and copy purchased items on a continued, private and non-commercial basis.
The Free Trade Agreement with the USA is noted to have damaged an equitable property rights approach. We therefore support the renegotiation of the Free Trade Agreement and limitation of its inequitable consequences.