WIPO is currently receiving public comments on the proposed treaty for the blind, visually impaired and other reading-disabled persons. This is potentially of immense importance, being the first time that consideration has been given to lightening the restrictive international copyright regime by including new minimum flexibilities, beginning with the very deserving case of the blind. You are encouraged to post your own comments to WIPO using the link above. Consumers International's comment, pending moderation, is as follows:
The United States Trade Representative has just released its 2010 Special 301 Report, which is an annual report card for how strongly other countries enforce the intellectual property rights of United States rights holders - rather like the converse of our IP Watchlist, which was released last week and focuses on how well a country's copyright laws advance the interests of consumers.
On 21-22 April, Kuala Lumpur hosted a gathering of 36 Consumers International members and partners for its first global meeting on Access to Knowledge. The meeting included the launches of CI's 2010 IP Watchlist, which has since gained much media interest, and our runaway hit short film When Copyright Goes Bad, which has since accumulated almost 50 thousand page views in English and Spanish.
While various European institutions are currently deciding what the European digital strategy for the next 5 years should be, BEUC has prepared a set of 10 principles that will ensure that European consumers are empowered in their digital lives. While access and fair use principles are included, BEUC put a strong emphasis on the need to respect consumers’ fundamental rights in the digital environment, in particular the rights to data protection, privacy and to the confidentiality of communications.
This true story is brought to us from a small business of architects in Mexico, by our Mexican member Colectiva Ecologista Jalisco. The relevance of this story to consumers comes in the very compelling conclusion that the author reaches at the end.
45% of voters selected the Spanish Ministry of Culture’s advertising campaign against so called Internet piracy (‘Si eres legal, eres legal’) which equated millions of Internet users to hooligans or criminals as the worst advertisement in 2009.
Which? has welcomed the news that the solicitors’ watchdog will pursue its complaint about a London law firm, Davenport Lyons, which accused hundreds of innocent consumers of illegal file sharing. The internet users accused of illegal sharing received letters from the law firm demanding payment of around £500 compensation for copyright infringement.
Three out of four (73%) of UK consumers don’t know what they are allowed to copy or record. Fewer than one in five (17%) consumers know that it is illegal to copy a CD or DVD they have bought on to a computer for their own use, and even fewer (15%) think that it is illegal to copy them to an iPod. Nearly four in ten (38%) of those using either an iPod or MP3 player admit to copying CDs onto their player.