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Private copying levies take their toll on Italian families denounces Altroconsumo (15 January 2010)

 In the course of a year, an average family will spend up to €100 more thanks to a new government Decree fixing copyright levies.

UFC-Que Choisir gets the boot out of the French Committee on Copyright Levies (05 January 2010)

 For want of being less outspoken in its criticism of the Committee on Copyright Levies, UFC-Que Choisir paid the price: representatives of artists, distributors, manufacturers, importers and even less critical consumer organisations were invited, but not UFC-Que Choisir.

Whose game is it, anyway?

The FIFA Soccer World Cup (trademarked) is just around the corner, and South Africans from all walks of life are gearing up for the event.  Already government schools have taken shorter summer holidays over the festive period because the mid-year holiday (our winter vacation) will be extended to accommodate Cup events.  South African consumers have been overwhelmed by a deluge of advertisements portraying ecstatic vuvuzela-blowing fans.  Traffic congestion, from ro

Joint Declaration on ACTA

Governments of Australia, Canada, European Union, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates and United States are amongst those undertaking secret negotiations for a so-called Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Amongst the many topics it reaches, ACTA would:

For an extension of the European Commission’s remedy for the domination of Microsoft's Browser, Internet Explorer.

The context:

Even if some challengers have taken a significant share of the browser market (primarily Firefox), Microsoft still has a huge advantage. This advantage is due to the bundling of computers and OS.

Indeed as most computers are sold with Windows (close to 100% in France) IE is included by default. To strengthen this power Microsoft implements IE-specific code to be sure that a website optimized for its browser doesn’t work perfectly with other browsers.

CI responds to Clinton's speech on Internet freedom

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke in Washington today about the Obama administration's  commitment to promoting online rights and freedoms, including freedom of expression and access to knowledge - and, as a necessary precondition, access to the Internet itself.  In her speech she said:

Impact of copyright on access to education in the Philippines

3D Trade-Human Rights-Equitable Economy, a Geneva-based NGO, and IBON Foundation submitted a paper entitled The Philippines: Impact of copyright rules on access to education to the Pre-Sessional Working Group of the Committee on the Rights of the Child last June 2009.

Support for Access to Knowledge for the Visually Impaired

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On 30 November 2009, a multi-stakeholder workshop was organized by the South African National Council for the Blind in Pretoria, South Africa, to discuss the 'Treaty for Improved Access for Blind, Visually Impaired and other Reading Disabled Persons' (referred to as the 'TVI'). This Treaty is on the agenda of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)'s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Matters (SCCR) Meeting, which will be held from 14-18 December 2009 in Geneva.

Are consumers calling for action against counterfeit software?

According to a press release issued by Microsoft last week to announce its "Consumer Action Day" against counterfeit software, "consumers want action", and are relying on Microsoft to "give people a voice in the fight against software counterfeiting". Whilst we do agree that counterfeiting of any kind can endanger consumers when they believe they are purchasing original products, we have to question Microsoft's credentials to represent consumers' interests here.

Production underway on CI Access to Knowledge film

As part of CI’s A2K programme we are producing a short film to look at the ways in which strict copyright laws are affecting consumer rights around the world.

The film will examine the extent to which some companies are demonising consumer behaviour as they seek to hold on to and expand outdated copyright laws. It will look at arguments around the need for a renegotiation of intellectual property laws in the digital age and the roles businesses, governments and consumers are playing in this rapidly changing environment.