24 October 2013

Day 2 at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2013

On Day 2 at IGF, IFLA participated in five workshops with topics spanning rights issues for disadvantaged and indigenous peoples, copyright and content creation and net neutrality.

IFLA participated as a panelist in Workshop 59, Content Creation, Access to Information and Open Internet, co-organised by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and Internet Society. Discussions between the panelists and the floor ranged from ways in which the copyright system currently fosters and promotes creativity, the need for updated limitations and exceptions, developing technology neutral copyright policy and the relationship between internet standards and copyright.

Panelist and co-organiser Paolo Lanteri (WIPO) highlighted WIPO's current exceptions agenda, noting the recent conclusion of the Marrakesh Treaty and upcoming focus on library and archive and educational exceptions, alongside broadcasting rights, in December this year. Panelists discussed the need to ensure internet copyright policy works with the architecture of the internet, and not against it, and the place of licensing. IFLA referred to the digital challenges libraries are currently grappling with, and the need for a binding international instrument on exceptions and limitations to enable libraries to fulfil their mission in both the print and digital environment. 

Find out more bout IFLA's copyright advocacy work at WIPO.

Workshop 276Rights Issues for Disadvantaged and Indigenous Peoples, was organised by IFLA, in its role as the co-convenor of the Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries, alongside the Dynamic Coalition on Internet Rights and Principles. Discussion focused on how to create a “people-centred, inclusive and development-orientated information society” for disadvantaged groups and featured experts in disability and minority law, intellectual property, IT and gender issues alongside the IFLA Director of Policy and Advocacy.  The workshop was organised so that its conclusions will feed into a broader discussion at the IGF on the recently-released Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet. Although the discussion was very wide-ranging, taking into account accessibility issues, website design, public policy and even IT procurement guidelines, participants stressed that it was important that increased co-operation and sensitivity to the issues – across government departments or between policymakers and practitioners – was essential to deliver to quick solutions to the problems facing vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. The Dynamic Coalitions will now work together over the next 12 months to explore how such co-operation can be facilitated.

In the afternoon, IFLA was represented in Workshop 340, Net Neutrality: from Architecture to Norms, where panelists debated whether a competition or human rights approach should be taken to net neutrality. Topics ranged from regulation of net neutrality, and how any regulation would or could be defined, the need to maintain competitive markets and the EU Commission's recent proposal on a single telecoms market and "specialised services" provided by ISPs. IFLA expressed the concerns of libraries regarding "specialised services", or tiered services, which would see public access prioritised according to economic benefit to the ISP. IFLA highlighted non-profits, public interest institutions, educators, advocates and marginalised groups as needing insulation against any erosion of net neutrality through tiered services. 

During the afternoon IFLA also took part in an open forum also relating to access for disadvantaged groups. This session was explicitly related to the workshop IFLA co-organised with Together Against Cybercrime (TAC) at the EuroDIG in Lisbon, and it looked at the drafting of a set of recommendations for global strategy on better inclusion of vulnerable groups in the Information society. Along with IFLA, representatives from ICANN and the Portuguese government discussed what could be done to further develop the recommendations and increase public access to ICTs and ICT training for vulnerable groups.

 The last session of the day was the second meeting of the Dynamic Coalition on Public Access through Libraries. The meeting reviewed the engagement of the library community in national and international IGFs in the past twelve months and discussed what the Dynamic Coalition might achieve in 2014. In particular, the library involvement in the post-2015 development process was discussed and the new IFLA Statement on Libraries and Development was presented. A small panel featuring representatives from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), UNESCO and Beyond Access talked about how the library community and its allies might undertake advocacy work to ensure access to information is recognised as an important pillar in the new framework. IFLA looks forward to sharing more information on this work in the coming weeks

WSIS (World Summit on the Information Society), Access to information, Access to knowledge, Information policies, Indonesia, WSIS, IGF

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