[A2k] OECD Principles on Internet Policy Making approved by businesses but not by "civil society"

Manon Ress manon.ress at keionline.org
Wed Jun 29 09:46:10 PDT 2011

The OECD, the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD
(BIAC),and The Internet Technical Advisory Committee to the OECD,
(ITAC) as well as Egypt endorsed the Communique "Principles on
Internet Policy Making"  which can be found here:

Final & (and finally) public version (6 pages) can be found here:

The words "Intellectual Property" appear 7 times, "Enforcement" 4
times, "liability" twice.  But "Fair Use, Public Domain, limitations
and exceptions, free software" never.

Here is a sample of the tone:

The policy-making principles in this communiqué are designed to help
preserve the fundamental openness of the Internet while concomitantly
meeting certain public policy objectives, such as the protection of
privacy, security, children online, and intellectual property, as well
as the reinforcement of trust in the Internet. Effective protection of
intellectual property rights plays a vital role in spurring innovation
and furthers the development of the Internet economy.

The Civil Society Information Society Advisory Council (CSISAC)
comprising more than 80 NGOs declined to support the "Principles on
Internet Policy-Making"

KEI Statement here:

On June 29, while the OECD civil society group CSISAC (80+ NGOs)
debated the text of a high level statement on the Principles of
Internet Policy Making, I sent this missive to the group discussing
the text, expressing KEI's opposition to the draft statement.

    Thank you for your hard work on this.

    While there are some noted improvements, I still find this
document as a whole quite disturbing. The Internet has actually
demonstrated how much creativity is fostered without intellectual
property, in fact despite IPR. Intellectual property is not a
"driving" tool of the Internet. The Internet was NOT created by
patents or copyright or trademark. Why would intellectual property be
such a central theme for such a document? We concede that the Internet
must not be a lawless "place" but this document where words such as
"fair use, limitation and exception for users (it is "fixed" for the
ISPs?), open source, free software, public domain, etc never appear,
is wrong in tone and in its focus.

    Finally, the last paragraph is about protecting fundamental rights
but they do not seem to include our rights. Only the rights of
copyright owners are actually expressed all over the text. The need
for balance between right owners and creative communities & consumers
is not.

    Our organization feels very uncomfortable with the document and is
not endorsing it. I am not sure about our exact status as member of
CSISAC but I am sure KEI cannot agree with these "principles for
Internet policy-making. "

PS we also believe that discussions about "free flow of information"
should be done in a much more transparent way. The text should have
been made public in order to get input from the Internet community as
a whole. It is also of course quite difficult to "discuss" a text
without being able to post it.

Manon Anne Ress
Knowledge Ecology International
1621 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20009 USA
manon.ress at keionline.org

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