The problem with accepting an intellectual property frame for our work on access to knowledge is that it is very difficult to make any headway, because the bulk of rights-holder lobbying muscle is mobilised against us. We therefore supplement this with an alternative and complementary approach: the use of consumer protection laws and policies.
In Australia as in many other countries, online services are a lightly-regulated industry, in which codes of conduct rather than laws are relied upon to protect consumers. On World Consumer Rights Day this year, the UNSW Law Faculty Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre released a report: "Drowning in Codes of Conduct: An analysis of codes of conduct applying to online activity in Australia" which suggests this self regulatory approach to online consumer protection, rights and interests online is not nece
Chiang Rai, Thailand, 30 July, 2009— The Telecommunications Consumer Protection Institute (TCI) along with three other consumer protection organizations launches the Chiang Rai Declaration which pushes for consumer protection in the area of ASEAN telecommunications.
Communications services are essential to everyone and should have consumer safeguards including the promotion of public interest that typifies other critical utilities.
In addition to our current global campaign, Consumers International has previously supported work on telecommunications issues at a regional level. This work is described and the outputs archived here.
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.