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Consumers and counterfeits

49 Jeremy MalcolmTough IP laws, such as those that the United States is seeking to introduce through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), are often justified as necessary to fight counterfeiting and piracy. On the face of it, this seems like a fair call. Consumers should be entitled to assume that the products they purchase are authorised, original versions. As such, consumers are often the victims of counterfeiting just as much as the owners of the original trademarked products are.

Questions Remain - Civil Society Media Release from TPP negotiation round, Brunei Darassalam


48 TPP demonstration in AucklandThe Civil Society stakeholders for the Brunei round of TPP negotiations are very disappointed that no formal report from the Chief Negotiators was presented, nor the opportunity for stakeholders to ask questions in a forum where all could hear the answers.

More than a hundred global groups make a principled stand against surveillance

For some time now there has been a need to update understandings of existing human rights law to reflect modern surveillance technologies and techniques. Nothing could demonstrate the urgency of this situation more than the revelations confirming the mass surveillance of innocent individuals around the world.

Diverse International coalition launches alternative process to secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership talks

47 Fair Deal Coalition logoThe Fair Deal Coalition has launched a new initiative that will give Internet users a platform to discuss what copyright should look like under the TPP. The Coalition’s ‘Your Digital Future’ tool invites stakeholders from all sectors - not just old media conglomerates - to discuss what kind of copyright law the TPP countries need in order to encourage creativity, participation, and innovation.

DEBATE: That the TPP will harm Asia's growing digital economies

The team that argued for the affirmative proposition consisted of Angela McDougall from Australian consumer group CHOICE (the only non-Malaysian panelist), Khairul Yusof from the transparency and anti-corruption NGO Sinar Project, and open source microprocessor engineer and entrepreneur, Shawn Tan. Their arguments focused mainly on the harsh intellectual property rules that have been proposed under the agreement, which they said would impact on a range of economic activity that depends upon the free use and reuse of digital information.

Why we went to the United Nations to protect digital consumers

45 Wired bookCI believes that the UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection have much potential to help restore the balance between the interests of consumers and copyright holders that has been upset with the introduction of digital rights management digital rights management (DRM) systems, descriptively known as ‘digital locks.’

Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Competition and Consumer Protection

The Consumers International delegation that presented out proposal for revision of the UN Guidleines achieved a good outcome, though the process from this point forward will be more drawn out than we expected. UNCTAD will form working groups of member states and observers, which

CI statement to UNCTAD on e-commerce and the UN Guidelines

43 Updating the UN Guidelines for the Digital AgeI would like to thank the distinguished representative from the Seychelles and Mr Avery from the OECD for their remarks about e-commerce, both of which we fully support. However, in accordance with the remarks made earlier by Consumers International's Head of Delegation, we are concerned that the scope of the work on revision of the Guidelines should not be too narrow, as there are many issues that effect the interests of consumers in the digital age that go beyond the existing instruments on e-commerce that have been developed by the OECD.

New e-book accessibility standard proposed

A new project called the Document Accessibility Profile (DAP) aims to make accessibility information for ebooks as easy use as Nutrition Facts labels on food packaging. When launched next year, publishers will create DAP labels so students with disabilities and others can determine if an ebook/etextbook will be accessible to them before they buy it. Go to

CI's Best Bits coalition challenges the United States on online surveillance

42 CC Attribution Some rights reserved by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML Although the basics have been widely reported, there is still a lot of confusion out there about how all the pieces of the PRISM surveillance scandal fit together, so here's the rundown. First, on Thursday 6 June, came the revelation in the Guardian of a secret court order requiring US phone carrier Verizon to disclose a complete set of records of telephone calls made over a three-month period.