[A2k] [Ip-health] Is access to information a human right?

Chris Zielinski ziggytheblue at gmail.com
Wed Jan 7 08:45:37 PST 2015


Greetings Paul,

I agree 100% with your statement that "one of the ultimate goals of any
society striving for human development is the empowerment of all its
citizens through access to and use of information and knowledge. In the
current information revolution and the emerging knowledge societies,
“universal access” to information and communication technology (ICT), and
particularly to global digital information networks’ exemplified by the
Internet, is essential for achieving this goal. Moreover, multilingualism
in cyberspace is of vital and strategic importance in ensuring the right to
information and cultural diversity...."

It is, however, your statement, and not that of the UDHR or Covenant or the
Comments, where access to information is not declared to be a human
right.... It should be! This was my point.

In fact, back in 2003, my contribution to the Unesco "Recommendation
concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access in
Cyberspace" was to propose including the words "access to information
essential to human development". This ended up in their definition of
"Universal access to cyberspace": Universal access to cyberspace is
equitable and affordable access by all citizens to information
infrastructure (notably to the Internet) and to information and knowledge
essential to collective and individual human development (the resolution is
available from
http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/about-us/how-we-work/strategy-and-programme/promotion-and-use-of-multilingualism-and-universal-access-to-cyberspace/).
I think this expresses it very well. I will be writing about "essential
information" in an upcoming blog.

Best,

Chris

On 6 January 2015 at 18:22, Uhlir, Paul <PUhlir at nas.edu> wrote:

> Hi all:
>
> The first paragraph of p.1 of the "Policy Guidelines for the Development
> and Promotion of Governmental Public Domain Information," P.F. Uhlir,
> UNESCO, 44 p. (2004) states:
>
> PART I: WHY GOVERNMENTAL PUBLIC DOMAIN INFORMATION
> IS IMPORTANT
> 1.1 Purpose and scope of the Guidelines
> According to article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’, the
> right to freedom of
> opinion and expression “includes the freedom to seek, receive and impart
> information and ideas
> through any media and regardless of frontiers”. Article 27( 1) of the same
> Declaration provides for
> the “right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community ...
> and to share in scientific
> advancement and its benefits”. Thus, one of the ultimate goals of any
> society striving for human
> development is the empowerment of all its citizens through access to and
> use of information and
> knowledge. In the current information revolution and the emerging
> knowledge societies, “universal
> access” to information and communication technology (ICT), and
> particularly to global digital
> information networks’ exemplified by the Internet, is essential for
> achieving this goal. Moreover,
> multilingualism in cyberspace is of vital and strategic importance in
> ensuring the right to
> information and cultural diversity....
>
> See: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/ulis/cgi-bin/ulis.pl?catno=137363
>
> ________________________________________
> From: A2k [a2k-bounces at lists.keionline.org] On Behalf Of Chris Zielinski [
> ziggytheblue at gmail.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2015 7:41 AM
> To: Philippe Aigrain
> Cc: a2k at lists.keionline.org
> Subject: Re: [A2k] [Ip-health] Is access to information a human right?
>
> Philippe quotes Article 27.2 which grants a person the right of protection
> of works of which they are the author and then says this does not place the
> control of works in the hands of authors. Hmm.
>
>
> The official authoritative UDHR/Covenant commentary literature (notably
> CESCR Comment 17 - http://www.refworld.org/docid/441543594.html
> <http://www.refworld.org/docid/441543594.html%C2%A0>) stresses that this
> is
> a human right attaching to the person of the author – there is no doubt
> whatsoever about that – and that, as a human right based on personal human
> dignity, it cannot be licensed, sold or passed on to anyone or any company.
> The Comment stresses that for these reasons copyright is not a human right.
>
>
> Copyright nevertheless derives an ethical/moral strength from Article 27.2.
> Thisnis even more true in countries belonging following the droits d’auteur
> regime.
>
>
> I agree with Philippe that copyright enforcement is largely by and for
> publishers and others who have licensed or bought the rights from the
> authors.
>
>
> Best,
>
>
> Chris
>
> On 5 January 2015 at 20:28, Philippe Aigrain <philippe.aigrain at wanadoo.fr>
> wrote:
>
> > Actually article 27 of UHDR and article 15 of the Covenant on Economic,
> > Social and Cultural Rights say things that clearly contradict the
> > statement by Chris Zielinski. 27.1 affirms the right freely to
> > participate in the cultural life of the City (I believe that this
> > includes sharing works between individuals without aim of profit, but it
> > is a matter of interpretation of the statement in today's context). 27.2
> > affirms the right of every person to the protection of the moral and
> > material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic
> > production of which he is the author. This DOES NOT say how there
> > interests should be served, does not mention exclusive rights (which
> > were strongly rejected by some countries) and certainly does not place
> > the control of works in the hands of authors. It just say that societies
> > have a duty to protect these moral and material interests of authors, a
> > duty which the fulfill presently very poorly by focussing mainly on
> > copyright enforcement for the benefit of publishers and distributors.
> >
> > Philippe Aigrain
> > http://www.sharing-thebook.com
> >
> > > On Wed, Dec 31, 2014 at 09:57:14PM +0000, Chris Zielinski wrote:
> > >> I’ve just posted a blog that might be of interest to members of the
> A2K
> > and
> > >> IP-Health lists. The blog seeks to answer the question, “Is access to
> > >> information a human right?” by carrying out a short, non-specialist
> > >> analysis of Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It
> > is at
> > >> http://ziggytheblue.wordpress.com   – Wordpress runs a short free
> > >> registration step and sends you no subsequent spam.
> > >>
> > >> Happy New Year to all!
> > >
> > > Happy New Year!
> > >
> > > "And it places the right to control the work firmly in the hands of the
> > author."
> > >
> > > But the UDHR does not say that. Conflicting human rights require a
> > balancing of rights. Peter Yu recommends just remuneration for conflicts
> > taking place within the human rights system. See also an FFII note partly
> > based on his work:
> > >
> > > http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1926102
> > > http://acta.ffii.org/?p=2017
> > >
> > > best,
> > >
> > > Ante
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >>
> > >> Chris
> > >>
> > >> Chris Zielinski chris at chriszielinski.com
> > >> _______________________________________________
> > >> Ip-health mailing list
> > >> Ip-health at lists.keionline.org
> > >>
> >
> http://lists.keionline.org/mailman/listinfo/ip-health_lists.keionline.org
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > A2k mailing list
> > > A2k at lists.keionline.org
> > > http://lists.keionline.org/mailman/listinfo/a2k_lists.keionline.org
> > >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > A2k mailing list
> > A2k at lists.keionline.org
> > http://lists.keionline.org/mailman/listinfo/a2k_lists.keionline.org
> >
> _______________________________________________
> A2k mailing list
> A2k at lists.keionline.org
> http://lists.keionline.org/mailman/listinfo/a2k_lists.keionline.org



More information about the A2k mailing list