Vilnius, Lithuania: At a United Nations (UN) Internet summit today, Consumers International (CI) announced plans to push for the amendment of the UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection, to include new safeguards for consumers of goods protected by copyright and patent laws. Such goods include e-books, music, films, software, and the devices used for accessing these.
Consumers International, the Centre for Internet and Society, India, and Center for Technology and Society of the Getulio Vargas Foundation, Brazil, are presenting a workshop at this year's Internet Governance Forum on its opening day, 14 September, titled "Freedom of expression or access to knowledge: are we taking the necessary steps towards an open and inclusive Internet?"
On Tuesday July 20, a group of public interest organizations, represented by Sean Flynn, Associate Director of PIJIP, will file a complaint alleging that U.S. trade policy in the Obama Administration violates international human rights obligations. The complaint will be filed with the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Anand Grover.
A live press conference will take place at the Media Center at the International AIDS Conference 2010, Vienna, at 12:00 noon Vienna time.
Sean Flynn explained:
The Malaysian government has set an example for the Asia-Pacific region in its support for free and open source software (FOSS). In 2004 it launched a master plan for rolling out FOSS throughout the public sector. That plan is now in its second phase of "accelerated adoption", which is intended to make the use of FOSS within government more pervasive. The overall aims of the programme are:
Consumers International participated in a group of over 90 academics, practitioners and public interest organizations from six continents who gathered at American University Washington College of Law, June 16-18, 2010 to analyze the official text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), released for the first time in April, 2010.
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.