Voluntary Mechanisms, Copyright and Development
Having examined IP law, particularly copyright law, and how it needs to adopt a development perspective, it is important to consider innovative systems that can be used in combination with such laws for the benefit of developing countries. This chapter considers voluntary mechanisms, primarily Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and Creative Commons (CC), and examines their relevance for developing countries. Voluntary mechanisms must be examined in the context of development as they are practical tools that can be localised for the benefit of developing countries. Most of the recent research on IP and development does not give proper attention to voluntary mechanisms or examine their relevance to the IP and development debate. This chapter calls on developing countries to seriously consider alternative approaches such as voluntary mechanisms and to use them in conjunction with traditional copyright laws. It examines the legal challenges and risks that those countries will face if they decide to adopt voluntary mechanisms. The chapter also looks at the civil legal system of Jordan as a case study for the adoption of FOSS and CC.