Jeremy Malcolm's blog
Consumers International, with the support of UFC-Que Choisir and La Quadrature du Net, is holding a Business Roundtable on the Consumer Interest in IPRs on the afternoon of 22 October (just before the TACD's second Paris Accord meeting), to bring together representatives of the entertainment, publishing, information technology and communications industries to discuss and debate the role that consumers' interests play in their decision-making
Consumer groups from around the Asia-Pacific region are currently meeting in Chiang Rai, Thailand for a conference on The Next Wave of ASEAN Consumer Protection in Telecommunications, at which I presented today on the relationship between consumer protection and Access to Knowledge (A2K). As promised to conference delegates, I am posting the slides from that presentation below, in two open formats.
The highlight of the 18th meeting of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has been the proposal today by Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay of a WIPO Treaty for Blind, Visually Impaired and other Reading Disabled Persons that was drafted by the World Blind Union and presented for discussion at the previous SCCR meeting last November.
Consumers International's inaugural IP Watch List, released this week, revealed that there are a number of less developed countries providing an example for the rest of the world of how to balance copyright owners' interests with consumers' access to knowledge. But judging from the latest United States' Special 301 Report, also just released, this is an insight that US policy makers still lack.
Consumers International's African regional meeting on A2K was held in Nairobi, Kenya on 23 April. It was attended by sixteen African members and partners, including the President of CI, Samuel Ochieng, all of whom participated actively. The meeting succeeded in raising important issues for consumers that even the previous two regional meetings had not covered. These will be consolidated with ideas raised at the previous two regional meetings in CI's strategic plan on IP and A2K for the global consumer movement, to be presented at CI's Council meeting in June.
The second of CI's regional meetings on A2K took place on 30 and 31 March in Santiago, Chile. The meeting was conducted in English and Spanish, through the use of simultaneous interpretation. Its participants included twenty representatives of CI members and like-minded NGOs from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru, as well as a special guest from the UK.
The first of Consumers International's regional meetings on Access to Knowledge, held this week in Kuala Lumpur, was a considerable success in establishing the programme of the global consumer movement for its work on intellectual property and A2K over the next few years. In addition, the meeting served a valuable regional capacity building function, with over forty participants attending, thirteen of them giving presentations on the issues for consumers in their country around Access to Knowledge, communications rights and access to the Internet.