21 June 2013
IFLA at EuroDig 2013
IFLA participated in the 6th meeting of the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) held in Lisbon on the 20th and 21st June. EuroDIG is the European feeder event to the international Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and this year’s discussions will contribute to the IGF which takes place in Indonesia in October.
The 2013 EuroDIG theme was ‘Internet and Society: How to Serve the Public Interest?’, and IFLA was the co-organiser of two workshops. The first workshop looked at the current state of copyright in Europe and asked if reform was needed to increase access to culture. On the panel were representatives from the library sector, Google, the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) and the Coalition for a Digital Economy (COADEC), an organisation representing small and medium size business enterprises working in the UK digital sector. The discussion was wide-ranging and addressed the relationship of contracts to copyright law, copyright exceptions, piracy, tech start-ups and text and data mining. Participants seemed clear that if Europe wants to produce technology pioneers it needs to figure out how to create a copyright regime that encourages innovation, with clear boundaries between commercial and non-commercial use.
The second workshop looked at inclusion and accessibility in relation to the information society, and featured representatives from the Council of Europe, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Department on the Information Society at the Ministry of Education and Science of Portugal, as well as libraries. The participants moved through five themes in pursuit of policy recommendations for Europe: Access; technical solutions and innovation; skills; inclusion; and the responsibility of different stakeholders in improving access for all. There was a general agreement that approaches to improving inclusion need to be implemented at local levels, guided by user-guided national and regional policy frameworks.
Reports will be made available on the EuroDIG website soon and incorporated in the EuroDIG submission to the IGF. The IFLA team at EuroDIG was Stuart Hamilton (IFLA Director, Policy and Advocacy), Ben White (Chair of the copyright group of the Council for European National Librarians (CENL), Dorina Bralostiteanu (Chief Librarian at Public Library of Fillasi, Dolj County, Romania), and Mikus Ozols (Chairman of the Board at Telia Latvia).