[A2k] New book: "Consumers in the Information Society: Access, Fairness and Representation"

Jeremy Malcolm jeremy at ciroap.org
Tue Mar 20 00:46:43 PDT 2012

Members of this list will be interested in hearing of a new book that is
available for free download titled "Consumers in the Information
Society: Access, Fairness and Representation". It is the proceedings of
the conference of the same name that was held by Consumers International
on 8-9 March this year.

The book contains papers covering issues of access to knowledge,
broadband, and consumer rights and representation in the information
society. Probably the most relevant to members of this list will be the
three A2K papers which are:

"Consumer Protection and IP Abuse Prevention under the WTO Framework" by
George Yijun Tian. George's research very useful to activists at the
national level, as it provides an expansive reading of the TRIPS
exception on IP abuse. He illustrates how TRIPS allows not only a
competition law based response to IP abuse, but also a response
utilising consumer law. So, for example, strong consumers laws can
prevent corporations from excluding copyright limitations via contract.

"Introduction to Digital Personal Property" by Paul Sweazey. This
describes the P1817 standard for consumer ownable digital personal
property, which is controversial for both consumer groups and creators
alike! The idea is for a technical standard which would allow completely
unfettered copying, sharing and modification of content - like plain
files - except that you would risk losing access to the files if you
shared them virally or with strangers.

"Information and Communication and the Rights of the World’s Consumers
in the 21st Century: Updating the UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection"
by Robin Brown and Jeremy Malcolm. This describes CI's proposed A2K
amendments to the UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection. The following
paper, "The UN Guidelines For Consumer Protection: Making Them Work in
Developing Countries" gives further background.

The other papers will hopefully be of interest too. You can download
them, chapter-by-chapter or as a single volume, at


*Dr Jeremy Malcolm
Senior Policy and Project Officer*
Consumers International
Kuala Lumpur Office for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East
Lot 5-1 Wisma WIM, 7 Jalan Abang Haji Openg, TTDI, 60000 Kuala Lumpur,
Tel: +60 3 7726 1599

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